Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
Directed by Jacques Tati
Running time: 115 minutes
Jacques Tati's classic film comedy, Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Monsieur Hulot's Holiday), 1953, marks the first appearance of his loveable alter ego, the clumsy Monsieur Hulot, played by the director himself. The film for which Tati is remembered, it's a quintessential portrait of post-war, middle-class French life, following Mr Hulot as he arrives and holidays in a small seaside resort in Brittany. Mostly silent – the dialogue is confined to background sound – and driven by episodic incident rather than overarching plot, it features all of the expected scenery of a small beach town, including odd couples, lonely singles, grumpy waiters and hoards of small children. Set to a score by Alain Romans, the film's well-crafted scenes and attention to detail pay homage to the silent slapstick of Chaplin and Keaton. However, Hulot's comedic misadventures also point to darker themes such as the state of French postwar society, its rising capitalism and lauding of technological innovation over the simple pleasures of life, subjects that would resurface in all of the director's subsequent films.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.