Au Revoir, Monsieur Hulot
Unlike Jacques Tati, not all the European film comedy stars of the 1950s and early 1960s crossed boundaries as easily as he did.
France’s Fernandel had a following in Italy, and Italy’s Totò had a following in France (the two made a film together The Law is the Law in 1958). Whilst Norman Wisdom’s star has faded in Britain, he is still loved in Albania, and his films dubbbed into Hindi are popular on the internet. But it was Jacques Tati who really crossed national boundaries, and still does in the 21st century.
In particular it his first two films Jour de Fête (1949) and Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953) that strike a continuing – possibly nostalgic – cord.
Jour de Fête (1949)
Pour La Poste
Despite a declining population – (1946: 1,135; 2009 (last published figure) 851) – Sainte Sévère still has a post office. The bar in the market square has gone, but there is a restaurant elsewhere in the village that seems to be popular with passing through tourists. Sainte Sévère also has a filling station, a ladies hairdressers, a boulangerie, a butchers and a school. It also now has a little museum dedicated to Jour de Fête and Jacques Tati.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot
The Hotel de la Plage is now the Best Western Hotel de la Plage. The rooms have flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and there is a business lounge. The restaurant is now called La Plage M.Hulot.
Positive views amongst UK visitors to the Best Western Hotel de la Plage recorded on the hotel site include
– Could hear the waves as we lay in bed at night
-Location is excellent, right on the beach.
-Architecturally interesting in that the original character has mostly been preserved.
Average 3 star ratings reviewers on Trip Advisor complained that there was no aircon, that there was no hot breakfast, that you couldn’t get a beer at 5 pm, that the exterior needed a paint, that the room was cramped and small, and that the place needed a modern eye to overhaul it.
Au Revoir, Monsieur Hulot.
Jacques Tati 1907 – 1982.