Mr. Hulot's Holiday
(Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot)

Screening on Film
Directed by Jacques Tati.
With Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Michele Rolla.
France, 1953, 35mm, black & white, 86 min.
English language version.

Descended from the great silent film comedians (Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd), Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot—a recurring character in several of his movies—is a blithely clumsy troublemaker, an insouciant twit who leaves uproar in his wake without being aware of it. Directly eschewing any attempts at narrative, the film provides a series of vignettes at a vacation resort, with the distracted Hulot providing a lot of laughs. As director, Tati composes the film with a perfect eye and ear for the comic possibilities in his mellow environs: composition, lighting, minimal garbled dialogue, and odd sounds such as a duck call and a door repeatedly opening and shutting. This is a superior work that ranks among all-time classic comedies.

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Serge Daney:
L’Homme cinéma