Man About Town: Jacques Tati's "Jour de fête" and "PlayTime"

Mubi is showing Jacques Tati's Jour de fête (1949) and PlayTime (1967) in December 2018 and January 2019 in many countries around the world as part of the series A Holiday with M. Tati.The characters played by director Jacques Tati, in Jour de fête (1949), Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953), Mon oncle (1958), PlayTime (1967), Trafic (1971), and Parade (1974), are rarely the singular focus of their respective film. Sure, his endearing M. Hulot appears in four of these features, and his François, from Jour de fête, is the most prominent resident of that film’s snug provincial hamlet. But Tati’s on-screen persona, whatever his name (he has none in Parade), is often more of an escort, an inimitable figure whose primary function is to introduce surrounding characters by way of his direct and indirect interaction, and to establish the capacity of each film’s essential setting, which is usually enlivened by his mere existence if not his actual relevance.
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