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Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

November 7, 2009
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‘hmchrr hmpfr… Hulot. HULOT.’

‘Allo, Londres?’

‘Mr Hulot, I’m going. I had such a good time. Good bye!’

Jacques Tati, despite belonging to the few French directors who achieved worldwide recognition (Mon oncle was awarded the Oscar for the 1958 best foreign movie) is surprisingly neglected by the French nowadays. Seldom are his movies shown on TV (except for Arte), despite their obvious entertaining and aesthetic qualities. The Cinémathèque française showed a marvellous exhibition of his work in spring-summer 2009.

LES VACANCES DE MONSIEUR HULOT

Les vacances de M. Hulot contains lots of small elements and events, which accumulated, end in a great movie. Monsieur Hulot makes his first appearance; his mere presence fills the scenes with chaos and comedy.

Tati, as usual, doesn’t use close shots, and Mr Hulot, despite being the leading character, doesn’t sound louder than the other characters in the background when he speaks. Basically, Tati does not highlight specific parts of the frames or sounds; on the contrary, he gives the audience the freedom to choose which details they will pay attention to.

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The recurring marshmallow

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Les vacances sont finies

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