Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Jacques Tati plays the role of a mailman in a small French village in his first feature film. At a fair, he sees a film about efficiency in the American postal system and, mocked by his villagers for his own archaic means of delivering the mail, takes his newfound information and decides to outdo the highspeed workings of the mechanized American system.
“Jour de fête mixes comedy of all kinds – gentle rustic humor, pure slapstick and satire on the modern craze for speed. Tati was a mime before becoming a filmmaker and this film recalls silent screen comedy in its reliance on visual humor. Tati’s music hall training has enabled him to master the essential of all screen comedy: the art of timing his gags… Four years passed before another film of Tati’s appeared, but Jour de fête was sufficient to mark out its director and star as one of the most original talents in the history of the French cinema.” — Roy Armes, French Cinema