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Jacque Tati's last film, PARADE, was shot on video for Swedish television and completed the same year the master filmmaker filed for bankruptcy. The semi-documentary presents a joyful look at the circus as well as the behind-the-scenes antics that go into its production. Tati's figurative roll as ringmaster of the innumerable gags, stunts, and jokes within his previous six feature films becomes literal as he leads hundreds of eager viewers and two especially excited small children through the delights of mimes, mimics, clowns, acrobats, and magicians. With Tati himself contributing several of his own subtly outrageous mime routines--the most memorable being an imitation of a lackadaisical goalie with comedic sound effects from the orchestra--the film bounces back and forth between the appreciative audience and the various expert performers. As the swansong of his remarkable cinematic career, PARADE stands as Tati's earnest homage to the circus, displaying his reverence for film as a form of pure entertainment.
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