Monsieur Hulot (Jacques Tati)

This is director Jacques Tati’s masterpiece about a man’s hatred for a fish shaped fountain. Actually it’s what that fountain represents. It’s also about the gate, the path, the different colored stones, and all the other ridiculously “modern” things that populate this film. This is the second film in Tati’s Hulot films and this one finds him desperately trying to be polite to his sister and her family.

Basically the film divides an area of France into the old France and the new France. Monsieur Hulot comes from the old France. His sister and his family live in the new France. The brother-in-law works at a rubber hose factory. His sister is determined to bring him into modern times thinking it will help him. In reality it’s their family that needs to step back a bit from the new France and rediscover the human connection. They need to rediscover that some of the best memories come when timetables and technology breakdown leaving people to improvise and knock down the walls that divide them.

A Very Proper Lunch

The Fun Really Begins When The Fish Goes Haywire

The film is made up of a series of encounters of modern France with Hulot who inadvertently throws a wrench into the modern world every time. There is very little dialogue and Tati is a silent comedian. The encounters start boring and dry and then as things progress the comedy builds until it reaches a climax where the modern world is put to shame. A very funny movie that I highly recommend.