Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Film Club Reviews #1

M. Hulot's Holiday (1952)

This just makes me happy. The sounds, the blissful atmosphere.
Watching it makes me feel like I've been on a holiday, like I've spent a week in another carefree world, so perfectly does it create time and place. I feel refreshed and full of good cheer (ok, so not like a real holiday then, but you know what i mean.) After all, what more could you ask of a film, of any great art, than that it create a perfectly realised world, which exists in its own sweet bubble of eternity?And I haven't even mentioned how funny it is. Hulot's unique tennis serve, the animal rug caught on his boot spur, the numerous instances of simple but perfect slapstick, missed steps, squeeky doors, collapsing canoes. What Tati seems to have understood (unlike the Mr Bean ripoffs) is it's Hulot's sublime impeturbability, his oblivious good nature that makes it so funny. We're not laughing at him, it's not a film version of funniest home movies. We don't pity or dispise him (as i expect even his creators do of Mr Bean), we love Hulot. May he always be on holiday, pipe at a jaunty angle, funny car barping along country roads, pretty girls playing idyllic music from hotel windows, the sea whooshing dreamily in the background. And as long as this film exists, he always will.

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