Mr. Hulot's Holiday

Mr. Hulot's Holiday

The film opens with holidaymakers leaving the big city and rushing to the seaside. Among them Monsieur Hulot, with his small, noisy and junky car that even the dogs don’t take seriously, immediately draws our attention. This tall French gentleman with the pipe never leaving his lips and his bouncing walk is the last vacationer to reach the seaside resort’s Hotel de la Plage. He’s polite, charming, and joyful. He also has the special gift of starting a series of small set-backs with a single movement of his, unawares. He’s not very different from those people who try to rest and have fun during holiday and in fact doesn’t look funnier… Les Vacances de M. Hulot is a film written and directed by French filmmaker Jacques Tati, in which he also acts… His cinema seems to lean on the tradition of silent movies, but going deeper we meet a much more modern structure. Tati, who moves his camera as little as possible and who generally likes fixed plans does not utilize the exaggerated acting and the slapstick style close to theatrical choreography. What flows away within the frame is a realistic slapstick, enjoying situation comedy and the value of time. Furthermore, Hulot does not create great havoc on screen, except for the firecracker scene at the end, and only gives rise to small problems. But these problems burst the audience into laughter. For example, the Wind entering from the open door of the hotel does not create havoc inside, it just annoys everyone… Tati prefers general plans in which the audience watches everything from afar with a certain distance to close-plans. This calm approach in his use of camera is also the key to the ironic feeling of the film. The camera is a distanced, calm observer in parts like the opening scene where the holidaymakers run all over the station or when Hulot wakes up every night those staying in the hotel with his noisy car. On the other hand, this is a cinema that’s visu ally very strong… The images tell everything. Words are pushed far back, but sound is an important instrument in telling the story. Tati, who utilizes a minimum of dialogue, prefers to set up comical situations that the vacationers experience one after the other instead of telling a definite story. In spite of this, here we have a fascinating and entertaining film that can be watched with pleasure from beginning to end, and that captivates audiences of any age. “Les Vacances de M. Hulot” is ultimately a classic that doesn’t have any problem in resisting time with its strong sense of cinema and original sense of humor. Mehmet Açar

France
114'
1953

Director
Jacques Tati

Script
Henri marquet
Jacques Lagrange
Jacques Tati
Pierre Aubert

Cinematography
Jacques Mercanton
Jean Mouselle

Editing
Charles Bretoneiche
Jacques Grassi
Suzanne baron

Production
Fred Now

Cast
André Dubois
Jacques Tati
Louis Perrault
Lucien Frégis
Michele Rolla
Nathalie Pascaud
Raymond Carl
Suzy Willy
Valentine Camax

Music
Alain Romans

Awards
Louis Delluc Award

Festivals
5th Festival on Wheels
BEST OF EUROPE