The most visually inventive film of the 60s is also one of the funniest. For this remarkable 1967 comedy about man and his modern world, Jacques Tati attempted nothing less than a complete reworking of the conventional notions of montage and, amazingly, he succeeded. Instead of cutting within scenes, Tati creates comic tableaux of such detail that, as film scholar Noel Burch has said, the film has to be seen not only several times, but from several different points in the theater to be appreciated fully. Within the film's three large movements, Tati's M. Hulot goes from fear of his ultramodern, glass-towered environment to a poetic transcendence of it. A masterpiece among masterpieces, and certainly the last word on Mies van der Rohe. In French with subtitles. 124 min.
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In the films of Jacques Tati, even system failure can be sublime.