Wednesday, December 2, 2009

M. Hulot's Holiday

Last week (I'm so behind/out of order lately) B and I went to see Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot, a 1953 film by Jacques Tati, at Film Forum. Admittedly, the only film I'd seen by Tati other than the classic Play Time (1967), was Mon Oncle (1958) and it had been a really long time. I've been meaning to watch Trafic forever, but somehow it just hasn't happened yet. Anyway, Taso won us two free tickets through Janus Films (aka the keeper of all great films) and they were waiting for us at the box office of the cozy, wonderful Film Forum. (I can't say enough about the staff, the snack bar--you have no idea how important this is until you have kids--and the presentation of the film.)

B laughed hysterically and I felt completely transported out of the theatre. When the house lights came up it took me a couple minutes to come back from the sunny beach (where I wore sundresses 24/7 and spoke French) to the reality of chilly New York. What more can you ask for in a film? Tati's use of sound was excellent, from the recurring cues of the score to every little perfectly timed noise. B and I both felt like we didn't really even need subtitles to stay engaged in what was happening on screen. It was interesting to see how spliced up the film was. It's no wonder with all the edits and different versions that Tati's done of the film, but it was still crazy to see that even the best restoration of it was noticeably missing enough frames for it to potentially become distracting. Still, we both loved it...which is saying a lot.
It was a perfect Sunday at the cinema. Thanks, Taso and Janus!


  1. I am forever entering competitions for free cinema tickets,and a fortnight ago I won a pair of tickets to see "Tabarly"@ Ciné lumière, Institut français. It involved a three hour round trip, but when we got there we were'nt on the guest list. I had'nt printed out the email and they would'nt let us in. The people who ran the competition were very nice and sent me a couple of DVD's. But remember if you win take proof!

  2. wait, wait. new york you say?! where is this film forum and why am i bad person for not knowing this?! oh, euf, culture. the movie sounds amazing. can we all please move to the beach and learn to speak french, preferably grace kelly style?

  3. Oh Meg, you have to go there!

    It's my favorite kind of theatre. Perfect projection, rare films/restorations and delicious popcorn! Right now they are showing La Danse, about the Paris Ballet, which is being called the best dance film ever made. It's next on my list!

    teabag, this whole contest went down on twitter and I didn't even know about it until my boyfriend told me he'd won. (But he lives in Texas at the moment so I got them!) Pretty sweet! I'll have to start entering contests. Not paying $12.50 for a movie was nice.

  4. Film competitions and draws are worth making the effoft a few months ago, my wife and I got to see "Away we go" thanks to the Sunday Times. It was the first time we had been to the cinema alone without children for about 20 years! It was lovely.