Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
A boxer is out in the country with his entourage, training for his next fight. Meanwhile, on the farm nearby, Roger is neglecting his chores. As he watches the boxer and his sparring ... See full summary »
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the... See full summary »
On the eve of her 16th birthday, Sylvie's father needs cash to stay in his castle so he sells Sylvie's favorite thing, a painting of Alain, the lover of Sylvie's grandmother, killed in a ... See full summary »
Monsieur Hulot's brother-in-law is the manager of a factory where plastics are manufactured. His nephew grows up in a house where everything is fully automated and the boy is raised in a similar fashion. To take away the influence of the uncle on his son, his brother-in-law gets Hulot a job in his factory. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Jacques Tati needs a statue in the movie history hall of fame. He will have it, eventually. As an actor, he created Monsieur Hulot, a sort of post-modern Chaplin, walking through the world as estranged and yet delighted, as a middle-aged ET. As a director, he did about the same thing, but added a visual brilliance, a classical sense for the absurd, and a lot of poetry.
Mon oncle, My uncle, is pretty much the manifesto of his artistic raison d'etre. The uncle, Monsieur Hulot, with his timeless, almost zen-like attitude to life, is contrasted by the successful bourgeoisie family, trying so hard to shine. What happens in the movie, is simply the little everyday absurdities rising out of this meeting of contradictions.
Tati makes fun of everyone, but in such a gentle and loving way, no one gets hurt. He is truly enjoying himself, when observing the little madnesses of modern man. There is no call for anyone getting really angry at anyone else.
Still, there are statements, and they are provoking if pondered. Tati probably succeeded in balancing the 1950's unreserved delight in consumer gluttony, with a bit of a taoist reconsideration as to the significance of it all. Without Tati and his movies, it is quite likely that we would have taken much longer in glimpsing the futility of earthly possessions, and that which has for the last half-century been called progress.
And contrary to many other movies of up to the same age, Mon oncle carries the years with just as straight a posture as the one of Monsieur Hulot. They should show this movie in the schools, so that all kids get to see it and reflect.
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