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Directed by Jacques Tati

France 1953 114 mins. In French

Tati’s second feature introduces the beloved character Monsieur Hulot, the bumbling, charming, near-silent uncle figure at the heart of his work (including most of his subsequent films—Mon Oncle Amerique, Playtime, Trafic). Sensing a subtle shift in French society during the postwar period, Tati takes Hulot on vacation to the beaches of Southern France—where people are unable to relax and escape their humdrum lives, and where he encounters technologies that should make life better, but instead makes it needlessly complex. A massive box office success in France upon its release and a fixture of the country’s repertory cinemas, M. Hulot’s Holiday has, in the intervening 60+ years, been confirmed as a masterpiece for, among other traits, “the amazing point of view that Jacques Tati casts at society through it. When you watch his films, you realize how much he knew about—and loved—human nature, and it can only be an inspiration to do the same.”—David Lynch.