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aka - Holiday
France 1949
Directed by
Jacques Tati
76 minutes
Rated G

4 stars

Jour De Fete

Jacques Tati’s first feature is a development of a 14 minute short film made in 1947, L’Ecole Des Facteurs (The School For Postmen) which Tati wrote with his to-be long-time script collaborator, Henri Marquet. Tati filmed it in Thomson Colour, intending it to be the first French feature in colour and France’s answer to Technicolor. Unfortunately the process was unworkable at the time but as Tati had simultaneously filmed it in black and white, it was released in that form The film was hugely successful and launched Tati’s career.

The original colour version has been fully restored by Tati's daughter, Sophie Tatischeff, with the aid of cameraman Francois Ede. Although not yet featuring Tati’s famous creation, Monsiuer Hulot we meet his precursor, Francois, a bumbling village postman and are introduced to Tati’s principal thematic preoccupation, his critique of modern technology. Also well evident is Tati’s distinctive non-synchronous use of sound and his interplay between foreground action and background incident. The restored version is visually enchanting, the Thompson colour process giving it the look of old-fashioned hand-coloured prints, perfectly appropriate to the quaintness of its French village setting (Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre in actuality) in the immediate post-war era.

DVD Extras: A new digital transfer with restored image and sound, newly translated sub-titles and the original theatrical trailers for Tati's other Hulot films.

Available from: Madman




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