Tuesday, 13 April 2010


I had a friend once who was obsessed with Jacques Tati's JOUR DE FETE to the point that he went to spend his holiday in the village where it was filmed. Finally seeing the film myself after all these years it is easy to see why. My only previous experience of Tati was a vague memory of seeing MON ONCLE as a child. JOUR DE FETE is a film of considerable charm. It is an elaboration on an earlier short film made by the director and star. Set in a French village on the day a fair comes to town, the film has little or no story - simply 24 hours in the life of the local postman - played with near balletic skill by Tati himself. Tati made the film in using an experimental colour camera with a second black and white camera for backup. When it was found that the lab could not process the colour footage it was decided to release the film in black and white. Modern technology now enables us to see the film as Tati intended - in colour. Needless to say, it is very funny. Rating ****

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