This is the first Tati film I've seen, but I've heard quite a lot about him. I saw the 70mm reprint with high expectations and was not disappointed. This is a movie that leads the viewer where it feels like going. It has it's own rhythm and path. Just as circumstance beyond Mr. Hulot's control takes him wherever he may go, the camera seems to follow the same kind of path. The viewer doesn't know where it's going, and the viewer doesn't know where exactly it wants to go. The great thing about this movie is that it doesn't follow Mr. Hulot exclusively. The camera behaves the same way without needing to follow Mr. Hulot. He moves where he goes, the tour group moves where they go, and the camera moves where it may go. The world around them and the viewer dicates it in the most unconscious kind of way. The first part of the movie is a satire on the inhuman world we've built around us. Mr. Hulot tries to navigate it, but the world won't sit still. Everything moves around without him and he can't find anything. Just like he is moved around, so is the object of his desire, whatever it may be at the moment. But Mr. Hulot doesn't mind, he goes along with it and enjoys it all the way, just like the viewer. In another Tati movie, Mr. Hulot's Vacation, there is a scene where he's resting on a beach, and his drink floats away with a wave and floats back just as he reaches for it. That's how this movie is. Everything might not exactly go as people hope or plan, but it goes it's own way. Not everything goes as planned, but Mr. Hulot accepts it and so does the viewer. Rather than fight the world around him and force it to do what it wants, he takes joy in looking around and enjoying the ride, and what makes the movie so great is that so does the viewer. You might not know where things are going, but they do what they will and you enjoy watching things unfold.
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
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May 19, 2019