A comic masterpiece from director-star Jacques Tati (Playtime
), this 1958 film--Tati's first in color--reprises the carefree, oblivious title character from the director's hilarious international hit Mr. Hulot's Holiday
. This time, the story finds Hulot, a self-involved twit on a constant collision with the physical world, grappling with 1950s-style progress. Visiting his sister and brother-in-law in their ultra-progressive household full of noisy gadgets and futuristic decor, Hulot inevitably has dust-ups with modernity, each one exceptionally funny. Taking a page from Buster Keaton's playbook, Tati also employs his trademark techniques with sound and production design to achieve the indefinable, comic genius of his films: the rhythmic clacking of footsteps, the cartoon-panel distance of his camera frame from the heart of the action. (Why are funny things funnier when seen from a few extra feet away?) Tati is one of the cinema's great treasures, and this movie is unforgettable. --Tom Keogh
Slapstick prevails when Jacques Tati's eccentric hero Monsieur Hulot is let loose in the ultramodern home of his brother-in-law, and in an antiseptic factory that manufactures plastic hose. Tati directs and stars in the second entry of the Hulot series, a delightful satire of mechanized living.