• The School for Postmen

    1947. France. Jacques Tati. 18 min.

  • Holiday/The Big Day

    1949. France. Jacques Tati. 90 min.

Saturday, December 26, 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • The School for Postmen

    1947. France. Directed by Jacques Tati. With Tati, Paul Demange. This charming sketch film was a test run for Tati’s first feature, Jour de fête, with Tati playing an overeager postman who cycles and jitterbugs his way toward bringing good-old American know-how to the provinces—with madcap results, of course. In French; English subtitles. 18 min.

  • Holiday/The Big Day

    1949. France. Directed by Jacques Tati. Screenplay by Tati, Henri Marquet, René Wheeler. With Tati, Paul Frankeur. In his first masterpiece, Tati plays a bumbling, self-important postman with a reverse Midas touch, seeking to bring streamlined American efficiency to the delivery of the day’s mail but instead bringing chaos (and hornets) to his sleepy village. The film was shot—in neorealist style, according to Jean-Luc Godard—in Saint-Sévère-sur-Indre, a picture postcard of a town in the heart of France where Tati had lived toward the end of the war (“Less than three years before the shoot began,” his biographer David Bellos observes, “the Gestapo still had an office on the main square”); as he would throughout his career, Tati contrasts the lyrical rhythms of pastoral life with modern-day agitations and urgencies. To his great chagrin, Jour de fête was released in black and white due to a failed new color process; this new colorized version, overseen by his daughter Sophie Tatischeff and cameraman François Ede, painstakingly and triumphantly restores Tati’s original, stunningly vibrant vision. In French; English subtitles. 90 min.

In the Film exhibition Jacques Tati

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