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Archive for August 12th, 2015

mon 1

by Allan Fish

(France 1958 116m) DVD1/2

Aka. My Uncle

Mind the fountain!

p Louis Dolivet d Jacques Tati w Jacques Tati, Jacques Lagrange ph Jean Bourgoin ed Suzanne Baron m Alain Romains, Franck Barcellini art Henri Schmitt

Jacques Tati (Monsieur Hulot), Jean-Pierre Zola (Charles Arpel), Adrienne Servatie (Madame Arpel), Alain Becourt (Gerard Arpel), Yvonne Arnaud (Georgette), Jean-François Martial (Walter), Betty Schneider (Betty, Hulot’s landlord’s daughter), Dominique Marie (neighbour), Adelaide Danieli (Madame Pichard),

If I’m being honest with myself, Mon Oncle is the one of Jacques Tati’s seminal quartet that in some ways I have problems including here. The problem is it sets up a paradox, a comedy that actually doesn’t have many laugh out loud moments. It’s clever, of course, but we don’t laugh at Tati’s look at modernism as we laugh at, say, Keaton’s The Electric House or Chaplin’s Modern Times. We smile, we sort of laugh, but it’s always subdued. And between the jokes, not a lot happens at all. It’s a problem that many people have with Tati, that gags come and go, often without beginnings and nearly always without ends. Many one can see coming, others one wishes we didn’t. Yet still, for all that, it’s hard to find fault on a technical level with Tati’s film.         (more…)

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