Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

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After watching Jacques Tati’s comedic classic Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, I was surprised to find out it was made in 1956. I’d have guessed during the 1930s. The film uses little sound, but the sound  is used to maximum effect. The sublime, recurring tune keeps playing in my head. Since it’s a happy melody, that’s just fine.

Awkward and unlucky, but well-meaning and kind, Mr. Hulot goes on vacation to a seaside French town. Wherever Mr. Hulot goes, minor disaster follows upsetting the quiet card players or the well-dressed ladies. More often than not, Mr. Hulot is his own worst enemy, but the consequence is usually small–some bruises, embarrassment or car trouble. It’s cool to see an old style vacation

The film is big on gags and short on plot. The characters are nameless stereotypes, but they do make an impression and each one is bound to remind you of someone you know or love.

Mr. Hulot’s Holiday is a delight, but probably isn’t for everyone. The film is slow-paced, a trip to the old days. It’s the first Tati film I’ve seen and folks like Roger Ebert assert it’s his best. I’m glad I saw it because Tati is a master in French film, but I can’t recommend it highly because I think a lot of people want more plot, which they can get from Chaplin, Keaton or Lloyd.

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All Done!

Yippee!

I  handed in my grades today after hours of marking and grappling with an infected Excel file, not my grade file, one the school sent for me to complete.

I also finished my library science class on Saturday and am done with the group project that featured working with the most uncooperative, defensive, controlling person I’ve ever run across. I will avoid her at all costs. Any classes that we take together, I will wait to choose a topic till after this woman has specified all her interests.

All that’s behind me!

Tomorrow I board a fast train for Suzhou for a bit of exploring, then on to Shanghai and finally I return to the U.S. on Friday in time for the holidays. I’ve done a little shopping for Christmas, but not a lot.