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.
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 »
Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an ... See full summary »
Charles Le Clainche,
Monsieur Hulot has to contact an American official in Paris, but he gets lost in the maze of modern architecture which is filled with the latest technical gadgets. Caught in the tourist invasion, Hulot roams around Paris with a group of American tourists, causing chaos in his usual manner. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Jacques Tati detested close-ups, considering them crude, and shot in medium-format 70 mm film so that all the actors and their physical movements would be visible, even when they were in the far background of a group scene. He used sound rather than visual cues to direct the audience's attention; with the large image size, sound could be both high and low in the image as well as left and right. See more »
The title isn't shown until the end of the opening credits. Additionally, there are no end credits. The final shot simply fades out and there is about a minute of exit music. See more »
A humorous look at the 'international' architecture movement
Others have commented about Tati's artistry and his sense of humour. I won't add to that.
One thing that many seem to miss is the physical setting for virtually the entire film, which is in and around international-style architecture. Tati continually pokes fun at it, demonstrating how inhumane much of it is in practice. Although idealistic and pure in some sense and appreciated for that (consider Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan), it is often better looked at or visited than lived in.
From one viewpoint, the entire film can be seen as a criticism of that architectural school. It may be the only film that concentrates its energy on architectual criticism.
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