Sunday, September 21, 2008
Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (Jacques Tati, 1953) aka M. Hullot's Holiday
I have often seen Tati be compared to the films of Chaplin and Keaton most likely because he directed and starred in them and due to the fact that they are comedies reliant on a lot of visual gags. Many have said Tati's films are almost like a silent comedy, but this is where I disagree. Although there is very little dialogue in his films, and what dialogue there is is hardly relevant to the story, I would say the sound design is one of the greatest aspects of his films, especially considering the period in which he was working in. M. Hulot's Holiday is a film that relies heavily on sound gags and motifs such as the creaking door, the bouncing ping pong ball, and the sputtering car. Sound is an important psychological element in film as well. The constant walla on the beach and in the resort just adds so much. My favorite gag in this film has to be where he accidentally pulls into the cemetery during a funeral and presents his spare tire covered with leaves as a wreath and then shakes the hands of the family while laughing because of an elderly woman's feathered hat tickling his face.