mardi 14 avril 2009


Mon Oncle ("My Uncle") is a 1958 comedic film by French filmmaker Jacques Tati. The first of Tati's films to be formally released in colour, Mon Oncle won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a Special Prize at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, and the prestigious New York Film Critics Award, receiving more honors than any of Tati's other cinematic works.

The film centers on the dimwitted yet lovable character of Monsieur Hulot and his quixotic struggle with postwar France's infatuation with modern architecture, mechanical efficiency and American-style consumerism. As with most Tati films, Mon Oncle is largely a visual comedy; color and lighting are employed to help tell the story. The dialogue in Mon Oncle is barely audible, and largely subordinated to the role of a sound effect. Consequently, most of the conversations are not subtitled. Instead, the drifting noises of heated arguments and idle banter complement other sounds and the physical movements of the characters, intensifying comedic effect. The complex soundtrack also uses music to characterize environments, including a lively musical theme that represents Hulot's world of comical inefficiency and freedom.

At its debut in 1958 in France, Mon Oncle was denounced by some critics for what they viewed as a reactionary or even poujadiste view of an emerging French consumer society, which had lately embraced a new wave of industrial modernization and a more rigid social structure. However, this critique soon gave way in the face of the film's huge popularity in France and abroad – even in the U.S., where rampant discretionary consumption and a recession had caused those on both the right and the left to question the economic and social values of the era.

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