Last year, for Bastille Day, I posted Three Scenes from Jacques Tati‘s classic film Mon Oncle. A few nights ago, I found that it’s now up, in its entirety, on You Tube – an absolutely gorgeous print, with very clear subtitles and great sound.
Here it is:
The story-telling is elliptical, the plot minimal, and the dialogue fairly hard to follow – even with the good subtitles. But all that’s beside the point – or rather the several true points – of this film, which are, to name just a few: the dazzling cinematography; the timing and pacing; and, as I put it last year, “the whimsical humor and run down dignity” of France in those days, and indeed of Jacques Tati himself, who moves through the variegated urban and industrial landscape with the grace of a dancer and the touch of a clown. What’s more, as Tom Keogh puts in a review posted at the Famous Clowns website, “…Tati also employs his trademark techniques with sound and production design to achieve the indefinable, comic genius of his films: the rhythmic clacking of footsteps, the cartoon-panel distance of his camera frame from the heart of the action. (Why are funny things funnier when seen from a few extra feet away?)…“ Then, of course, there’s the musical score by Alain Romans and Franck Barcellini, also whimsical and humorous, which functions as an almost constant counterpoint to – and indeed an often snarky commentary on – the main action of the film.
Well worth a viewing…
Update: Drat! Some species of bachi-bouzouk took it down! Still, available on Amazon for sale or rent (link). Worth a few bucks? I’d say so (but, then again, I would!). Also, lots of short clips, etc, continuing up on You Tube (link).