Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot (DVD)

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Jacques Tati, master of his own idiosyncratic genre of cinematic slapstick, followed up his acclaimed debut JOUR DE FETE with the equally ingenious M. HULOT'S HOLIDAY (LES VACANCES DE MONSIEUR HULOT). Five years in the making, the film marks the debut of Tati's altar ego, Mr. Hulot, a gangly and awkward Frenchman, perpetually the center and possible cause of a whirlwind of disasters, pratfalls, and mishaps. Tati's scrupulous attention to detail and almost arabesque sense of humor colours the entire film, from the departure of a gaggle of tourists from a malfunctioning train station to the minutiae of resort life. In place of a plot, a series of disastrous coincidences, surreal sight gags and irascible indignations erupt around Mr. Hulot as he gallantly and obliviously strolls through his seaside vacation. While he tries to impress a lovely ingenue, Hulot inadvertently barges in on a funeral, ignites a fireworks stand with his pipe, and topples a Ming vase, rarely realising the extent of the damage he causes. Tati expertly crafts the visual bombast of traditional slapstick into a beautiful and intricate sequence of incidents, accompanied by an equally elegant and intriguing seaside soundtrack of lapping waves, laughing children and transistor radios, all merging into an absurd symphony of cinematic delight.

Already familiar to many, especially following his acclaimed directorial debut JOUR DE FETE, Jacques Tati came into his own and reached new levels of popularity with 1953's M. HULOT'S HOLIDAY (LES VACANCES DE MONSIEUR HULOT). The first film to introduce his much-loved alter ego Monsieur Hulot, it sets the pattern for future appearances of the character, throwing the bumbling hero unwittingly into the middle of the action and letting the ensuing mishaps provoke humour ranging from gentle observations to fairly biting satire. The setting this time is a stuffy resort community fond of the peace and quiet that Hulot interrupts without fail.

Number of Discs
Mr. Hulot's Holiday
Running Time
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R 239

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