111 Mon Oncle

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Martha
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111 Mon Oncle

#1 Post by Martha » Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:12 pm

Mon Oncle

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Slapstick prevails when Jacques Tati's eccentric hero Monsieur Hulot is let loose in the ultramodern home of his brother-in-law, and in an antiseptic factory that manufactures plastic hose. Tati directs and stars in the second entry of the Hulot series, a delightful satire of mechanized living.

Special Features

• Spectacular digital transfer, with restored image and sound
• Video introduction by writer, director and performer Terry Jones
• L'école des facteurs, the 1947 short film directed by and starring Jacques Tati
• New and improved English subtitle translation

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filmghost
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#2 Post by filmghost » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:54 pm

I just watched that film (it was the only one from Mr.Hulot's series that I hadn't seen before) alone around 3.00 in the morning and I couldn't help it but laughing loudly. It' hilarious! But I wanted to ask something technical. I watched the Criteriion DVD and when the film ended, although the music went on, instead of the credits, the only thing I could see was a black screen. The same happened no matter how many times I tried to repeat the last scene, and if I tried to move it fast forward it just brought me to the menu. Have anyone else experienced something like that with the Criterion DVD?

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Michael
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#3 Post by Michael » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:07 pm

That's the way Tati wants the film to end. Other films that end like that are Ordet and Mouchette.

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Dylan
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#4 Post by Dylan » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:08 pm

This also happens at the end of "Juliet of the Spirits." Though that film did have end credits, when they end on the black screen the music keeps going for another minute. I'm sure another film I know of does it as well, but that's the only one that comes to mind.

Speaking of which, I haven't seen Mon Oncle yet (or any Tati), but it's on my list.

Dylan

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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#5 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:18 pm

This is personaly one of my favorite films. It's hilarious and a very beautiful movie. The ending is one of my favorites, just the slow fade away on the window is beautiful. I love the way the movie works too, you feel like an old friend of Hulot's visiting him. You seperate from him too, exploring on your own visiting other people in the town, seeing what they are up too. I heard Playtime follows the same narrative, but I haven't seen it yet (I missed the L.A. showings).

I've been waiting forever for Criterion to release the whole Tati catalog, but it seems like it won't happen soon.

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#6 Post by javelin » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:56 am

Mon Oncle is fantastic, second only in the Tati canon to Playtime. I love the way Tati labors so carefully with set design - the man clearly had a fastidiousness and gifted eye for design and function (or lack thereof.) Playtime is obviously the more brilliant of the two, but Mon Oncle has the bigger heart - not only awe inspiring to watch, but also feel-good and entertaining in the most essential of ways.

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filmghost
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#7 Post by filmghost » Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:08 am

That's the way Tati wants the film to end.
Oh my god! I feel so stupid now...I thought it was a problem of the DVD...
:oops:

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#8 Post by BWilson » Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:31 pm

Yes, it's called "Exit Music" many films have it.

In the case of Mon Oncle there are no proper creidts optically printed anywhere in the film. The actor credits are on a road sign and the title of the film is scrawled on the wall in graffiti.

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4LOM
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#9 Post by 4LOM » Wed May 04, 2005 3:57 pm

Yesterday I bought the German 2-disc edition of Jacques Tati's "Mon Oncle". This one contains the French version on DVD #1 and on the second disc as a bonus the english speaking version that Tati shot side-by-side. This is the restored version that premiered at the Berlinale in February 2005.

It has some credits with a listing of the restoration staff before the original credits.

I found this very interesting:
Image
I think that it's possible, that Criterion will release this version in the near future, too.

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Faux Hulot
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#10 Post by Faux Hulot » Wed May 04, 2005 4:15 pm

foofighters7 wrote:doubt it, seriously.

To many other things to do than go back to something they already have messed with before.
Well, they've already re-mastered M and are apparently upgrading Playtime from the 70mm restoration (not to mention also prepping an edition of Jour de Fete, which escaped the earlier batch of Tati DVDs), so why not? Criterion, if you're listening: I'll gladly double-dip to be able to see My Uncle.

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porquenegar
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#11 Post by porquenegar » Wed May 04, 2005 4:52 pm

I need to revisit this one. I absolutely adore M. Hulot's Holiday which always manages to lift my spirits whenever I'm down. Maybe I was expecting too much from Mon Oncle, but I was a bit let down. Some great gags in it, though.

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Gregory
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#12 Post by Gregory » Wed May 04, 2005 5:11 pm

When they regained the rights to M. Hulot's Holiday, Mon Oncle, and Playtime, they reissued the first two right away but kept Playtime out of print while getting readt to work on an improved release. If they thought they were going to do the same with Mon Oncle in the immediate future, then I believe they would have held that one back, too.

amateurist
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#13 Post by amateurist » Thu May 05, 2005 4:48 pm

Does the German Tati boxset from 2004 have the above-mentioned restorations, or are those confined to the individual DVDs released this year?
Last edited by amateurist on Fri May 06, 2005 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cbernard

#14 Post by cbernard » Thu May 05, 2005 5:38 pm

porquenegar wrote:I need to revisit this one. I absolutely adore M. Hulot's Holiday which always manages to lift my spirits whenever I'm down. Maybe I was expecting too much from Mon Oncle, but I was a bit let down. Some great gags in it, though.
I also had trouble warming up to MO, but with a few repeat viewings, it emerges as something special. Hard to say why. Sometimes I think the real Tati trilogy goes Jour de Fete-Mon Oncle-Playtime. The Hulot of Mon Oncle is closer to the postman than the vacationing Hulot, imo

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porquenegar
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#15 Post by porquenegar » Thu May 05, 2005 7:18 pm

cbernard wrote:
porquenegar wrote:I need to revisit this one. I absolutely adore M. Hulot's Holiday which always manages to lift my spirits whenever I'm down. Maybe I was expecting too much from Mon Oncle, but I was a bit let down. Some great gags in it, though.
I also had trouble warming up to MO, but with a few repeat viewings, it emerges as something special. Hard to say why. Sometimes I think the real Tati trilogy goes Jour de Fete-Mon Oncle-Playtime. The Hulot of Mon Oncle is closer to the postman than the vacationing Hulot, imo
For me, the whole gaudiness of the "modern" home really turned me off. Of course, that is entirely the point. Maybe after a few repeat viewings it isn't as jarring and one can appreciate the comedic moments a little better.

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daniel p
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#16 Post by daniel p » Thu May 05, 2005 7:45 pm

I actually liked MO instantly, and had to warm up to Hulot...

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FilmFanSea
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#17 Post by FilmFanSea » Thu May 05, 2005 9:11 pm

daniel p wrote:I actually liked MO instantly, and had to warm up to Hulot...
Ditto. I absolutely adored Mon Oncle on first viewing: I love the send-up of 1950's bourgeoisie, the pastel colors, and the benign cluelessness of M. Hulot. M. Hulot's Holiday, while enjoyable, didn't work nearly as well for me.

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#18 Post by unclehulot » Thu May 05, 2005 9:32 pm

The gag where Hulot tries to "bounce" the drinking glass (seeing that everything ELSE in this universe of modernism is made of plastic) has to be one of his best!

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#19 Post by cdnchris » Fri May 06, 2005 8:58 am

I remember when I saw "Holiday", I enjoyed it, but I didn't really laugh. I could see the gags coming, though there were incredibly staged. I was expecting the same thing with Mon Oncle, but was pleasantly surprised that I was actually laughing through the whole thing. It's a really charming film, the satire is good, and the gags are priceless (I too loved the bouncing glass bit) And the look of it blew me away (and then Tati further blew me away with Playtime) For some reason, watching Hulot go through the apartment building to get to his place is one of my favourite sequences.

cbernard

#20 Post by cbernard » Fri May 06, 2005 5:34 pm

My favorite MO gag is when the spikes of the stuck-up neighbor's high-heeled shoes nearly cause her to topple over backwards, from the sidewalk. Tati's best jokes just kind of "happen" and you don't notice until he's nearly onto the next one. The bit with the guy digging a hole in the ground works the same way: first everyone's trying to figure out what's wrong with the fountain, and the next thing you know, he's dug a six-foot hole in the ground and standing all the way in it.

Traffic is the underrated Tati, though. Kind of a bastard child among better known prizewinners, but adorable just the same.

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Gordon
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#21 Post by Gordon » Fri May 06, 2005 7:28 pm

Tati's Hulot films are among the best example of "Reasons to be Cheerful". I love the character, the gags, the satire, the gorgeous visuals. I find his films strangely elevating; they make me want to be a better person, not so cynical, etc.

I saw Holiday first and when that dog lies on the road, I was expecting Hulot to shout at the dog, but I clapped, laughed and grinned widely when he stopped to clap the dog's head! It just felt good and reminded me of Altman's, The Long Goodbye when the dog wouldn't get out of Marlowe's way.

Mon Oncle is simply fantastic. More dogs. They follow Hulot into the hose factory. Ah, the hose factory. Hilarious! Crazy stuff.

Playtime is a beautifully constructed work of comedy Cinema. Not out-and-out hilarious, the satire and odd situation style of Tati is more prevalent here, but it is his magnum opus and rewards again and again. I'd love to see an elaborate 2-disc Criterion.

I have never seen Trafic. Does it really need English subtitles in order for one to understand and enjoy it? Or is the dialogue sparse and multi-lingual?

The reason that I ask is that there is a German DVD which is 4:3 (correct ratio?) and has German and French audio tracks and German subtitles. Review here. There's also a Swedish edition that has Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles, but no English subtitles, also 4:3. Very annoying not having this film in my collection. Could Criterion pick this up, or is it still owned by Columbia in the U.S?

There is also a German DVD of Parade being released at the end of this month: Click here
Last edited by Gordon on Sat May 07, 2005 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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skuhn8
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#22 Post by skuhn8 » Sat May 07, 2005 10:31 am

instant adoration for mon oncle. I started off on Tati in order of the CC releases. I found Holiday very clever, but wasn't won over to the Tati camp. Mon Oncle did it though. It's the atmosphere. I really am sad that I can't participate in the little world he created around Hulot where children and dogs run about freely, the garbage man interrupts his various conversations with a little bit of sweeping and pub (sic) guests let it all hang out. Oh, and of course, what's a day without a little colorful shopping at the outdoor market stalls.

And yes, watching Hulot ascend his apartment building is such a strange and simple joy.

But again it's the atmosphere. The colors; but more than that, there's that lighting that captures old Europe timelessness--I don't know how else to describe it. I knew that light and touch of atmosphere from boyhood summers spent in Germany, spring hikes in the highlands, a single autumn on the northern coast of France. Travelling through Europe you'll catch glimpses and whispers of Hulot's old world, but so fleeting. That world is gone and Tati saw it going and created these odes to its departure.

From the brilliant opening credits to the final shot this film is an underappreciated masterpiece. There's so many ways to watch it: from the point of view of a child, or a nostalgic perspective, as playful social commentary, or even as biting social commentary. First viewing seemed so simple: but repeated viewings reveal so much more.

But bizarre side note: when I watched Apocalypse Now the other night and saw the title chalked on a wall of Kurtz's compound I couldn't help but recall how "mon oncle" was chalked on at the close of the opening credits. Tati takes us up the river.

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#23 Post by 4LOM » Thu May 12, 2005 8:42 am

amateurist wrote:Does the German Tati boxset from 2004 have the above-mentioned restorations? (i.e.: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00020P814)
Or are those confined to the individual DVDs released this year?
Only the individual release of "Mon Oncle" features the restored "My Uncle" version. The French version of the film on the box set and the 2-disc release has the same quality as the Criterion.

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Lino
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#24 Post by Lino » Tue Jun 14, 2005 3:00 pm


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Faux Hulot
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#25 Post by Faux Hulot » Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:16 pm

Annie Mall wrote:Watch here a rare french trailer for Mon Oncle
Thanks! That site's a bit of a pain, however, so for the rest of you a direct link to the Quicktime is right here.

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