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Reacquainted With Jacques Tati

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While clearing out my 2009 drawers to make room for the junk-to-be in 2010, I was delighted to see that I had managed to save some of my “Intro to Film” books from college. I’m sure many of our film fanatics out there are well aware of French filmmaker, Jacques Tati and his most celebrated film, Mon Oncle. But it was just now, 3 years after taking the course that my appreciation and fascination for this film, so inherently Chaplinesque and ahead of its time, have come to fruition.

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A funny film which artfully combines themes of modernity in postwar France and the culture’s obsession with all things mechanical and uncomfortable Mon Oncle is also stylistically crafted–opposing the the charm of old Parisian neighborhoods to the sterility of new buildings that replace them.

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The best part of the film is of course the uncle himself, played by Tati. “Mr. Hulot” is the beacon of light for his niece, Gerard, and gives little G a whole new way of looking at life, behind the everyday occurrences of high tech kitchen gadgets, uncomfortable geometric architecture, and a mother and father who both have lost their own sense of identity for the sake of modernity.

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Finally, a scene that really captures the essence of the whole film:

I would love to blow up these screen shots and hang them on my wall one day. Le sigh.

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