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JOUR DE FÊTE

Jacques Tati | 1949 | 70 MINS
France
Jacques Tati's ‘Jour de Fête’ is still one of the most truly delightful comedies ever made. It was expanded from his marvellous short, ‘L'École des Facteurs’ (‘School for Postmen’), made two years earlier. The majority of the film is a beautifully observed portrait of a small village as it gets ready for and enjoys its annual Bastille Day fair.

In Detail

There's not much plot, just a series of little vignettes - trying to raise a flagpole; an unspoken flirtation between the merry-go-round man and a local girl under the watchful eye of his wife; a jukebox that won't work; paint that won't dry - while a crookbacked old goose woman passes the odd comment. Yet it's filled with beautiful sight gags, with the whole town, its animals and even balloons and bicycles seeming, with their uncanny comic timing, to conspire with the filmmaker.

“I was immediately attracted to the silent humour of Jacques Tati many years ago. I loved the character he created in Monsieur Hulot and consider ‘Playtime’ an absolute masterpiece. Some of his films have unfortunately become a little dated, so I have gone back and selected his debut feature, which is still so fresh and imaginative. I would also have chosen a Woody Allen film, but there are already two examples elsewhere in the programme.” - RG

The first screening (Studio) will be the film in black and white while the second (Picture Palace) will be the colour restoration.

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