Jour de Fete

Jacques Tati's first feature (1947), a euphoric comedy set in a sleepy village. As in all of his features, the plot is minimal: during Bastille Day festivities, the local postman (Tati) encounters a newsreel about streamlined postal delivery in America and attempts to clean up his act accordingly. But the exquisite charm of this masterpiece has less to do with individual gags (funny though many of them are) than with Tati's portrait of a highly interactive French village after the war—a view of paradise suffused with affection and poetry. 79 min.

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