Dir: Jacques Tati | France Comedy
Although the films of Jacques Tati continue to enjoy great esteem and obviously inspired Benny Hill and The Two Ronnies, I must confess to something of a blind spot, admiring the meticulous care that goes into staging his sight gags but not actually finding them terribly funny. (His use of sound is also good, witness the scenes with the wasp.)
Two things in particular set Tati apart from other great screen comics: firstly his great height, since a lot of the humour comes from the contrast of his huge frame straddling his tiny bike.
The other is conceiving his films in colour years ahead of it’s time. In a spirit of national fervour Tati daringly tried to make ‘Jour de Fete’ in a native process; sadly the process promptly went bust and the film had to be released in monochrome (a format which continues be attributed to it in reference books and is how was shown on Talking Pictures) although even then he added details in colour throughout the film on a later reissue. Only after Tati was long death was the colour version restored and the film can finally be seen as it’s creator envisaged it thanks to the miracle of the DVD.