French Holiday

By Alexandra Bush January 15, 2010

It's a mid-20th-century weekend for Seattle film.  As Chris mentioned yesterday, the Northwest Film Forum is showing Rebel Without a Cause (1955) tonight, with screenwriter Stewart Stern in attendance.  This film, along with oh-so-dreamy James Dean, helped name teen angst as we know it today. It defined a new set of American values for a new generation.

[caption id="attachment_22832" align="alignleft" width="330" caption="Jacques Tati as Monsieur Hulot"]Jacques Tati as Monsieur Hulot[/caption]

If you've had enough teen angst (or enough American values), get a very different vision of the '50s at SIFF Cinema.  They'll be a continent away in the old world, on French holiday.

Continuing the Les Affairs de Monsieur Hulot series, they will screen actor-director Jacques Tati's first M. Hulot movie, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953).  With his bouncing gait and too-short trousers, M. Hulot (a longtime on-screen persona for Tati) bumbles through a whimsical world where ping pong can steal a woman's heart, and little children can turn an ice cream cone upside down without losing their precious cargo.

Though not nearly as clean or stylish as the later Hulot movies (which ran at SIFF Cinema last week), M. Hulot's Holiday is a vaudevillian romp through a time and place that the modern world has left far behind.  Tati, a notorious Luddite, sees the world through glasses of nostalgia. Forget plot and immerse yourself in a charming, silly little world that passes by like moving postcards from an imaginary past.

Bonus: It's set on a beach, and really, who couldn't use a summer holiday right about now?

Rebel plays tonight only at Northwest Film Forum, 8pm. 

M. Hulot's Holiday screens nightly at 7:45 at SIFF Cinema through Monday night, with daytime shows on Saturday and Sunday.
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