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 inhabiters are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the ... See full summary »
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 ... 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 »
Lindsey and Geena spend some time together by the pool while their husbands play golf. After talking about their fantasies they begin to enact a few of them for each other. Soon they ... See full summary »
At Altra Motors, Mr. Hulot designs an ingenious camper car with lots of clever features. A lorry hauls the prototype to an important auto show in Amsterdam, with Mr. Hulot alongside in his car and a spoiled, trendy PR exec, the young Maria, in her sports car packed with designer clothes and her fluffy dog. The lorry has every imaginable problem, delaying its arrival. A flat tire, no gas, an accident, a run-in with police, a stop at a garage, and numerous traffic jams showcase vignettes of people and their cars. Through interactions with these down-to-earth folks, Maria gradually loses her imperious conceit, becoming much more relaxed and fetching. Written by
Several (Dutch) license plates can be seen on various different vehicles, sometimes even in the same shot. For instance the license plate "FT-92-65" can be seen in the petrol station scene on both a Peugeot 504 and a Chrysler 180. Later the same plate is on a Peugeot 204 passing in front of the exhibition center.
In the "road rage" scene the number 76-04-NF is on both the Renault 16 and the Citroën ID. Shortly after the same plate is on an Opel Kadett parked in front of the exhibition center. See more »
Whilst not Tati's best by any stretch of the imagination the genius of the man still shines through. Having lived in France for a while I see more humour in this film, particularly in the comedic observation, than before. The French may be fanatical about cinema and may well have produced some of the world's greatest film makers but out and out comedy probably ranks well down in terms of output. Maybe it's something to do with the French sense of humour (whatever that may be). Unlike British, and to a lesser extent US comedy, self-parody is not a French strength. It could be something to do with their history and education but the culture, so strong in literature and the arts seems not to demean itself with pure laughter. Most cinema fans would probably be hard put to list 10 French comedies - other than perhaps drama with the occasional comic undertones. Les Visiteurs (the original not the recent re-make) is probably one of the better examples but here again there's little or no self-mocking.
So it was left to Tati to mine the seam - and how well he mined it. Here he takes the smallest of French (dare I say Parisian) mannerisms and extends them into lengthy scenes of beautifully observed comedy. Whether it's the windscreen wipers in tune with the occupants or the nose-picking drivers, he asks the French to at least smile, if not laugh out loud, at themselves.
Yes, the film does move at rather a slow pace and there are times when the comic observation sags, but the sight of dear old M Hulot in his mackintosh, loping along with pipe jutting from his mouth will ever remain one of cinema's delights.
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