24 Jul 2008


Kate was home from school again today and so this afternoon we watched yet another film together.
Continuing on our French theme we chose Mon Oncle starring the wonderful Jacques Tati. July for us is always a tribute to France because of the Tour.
We have followed the Tour de France every year since Louis was a little boy and love getting to know a little of the French countryside.

We don't have many French films: four Jacques Tati films, Amelie and at a pinch, Chocolat ( not French but close) and a couple of Audrey Hepburn films which are not at all French but are Hollywood French and wonderfully 50s.

When Stephen and I lived in inner city Melbourne we saw many foreign language films, by choice we mostly went to see French films. I don't speak French although I learned for four years at school but I love the rhythm of the language and visually I always enjoyed the treat that these films were.

Anyway back to Mon Oncle

The thing about Tati films is that they are a feast for the eyes. The dialogue is sparse and almost unimportant.
The sets, the movements, the music and the sound effects give the whole story.

This particular film contrasts the old bomb battered French city with the clinical modernist, minimalist new France city.
The ultra modern house of Monsieur Hulot's ( Tati) sister is fabulous and remarkably familiar if your flick through some contemporary interior design magazines: all the gadgets and the white sterility of the house, and the water featured,pebbled, paved, espalliered garden.

The tumble down added on to mish mash of architecture of the inspired block of flats where Mon Oncle lives is of course a sentimental and endangered building perhaps to be lost to urban renewal.

The fabulous fifties fashions in all four Tati films we own are such a treat and the glimpse of French life, town and country is just fascinating.
If you go to YouTube there are many Tati film clips and here in Australia his films come up quite regularly on SBS.

Oh and here are a few French blogs I have been enjoying lately:

Tous Les Jours Dimanche (my favourite)

Et A Part Ca?

Happy To See You

5 Responses to “Francophile”

  1. If you enjoy French movies do try to get a hold of _The Umbrellas of Cherbourg_. It has subtitles, but it is so well done you almost don't need them.

  2. This is a little hello from France ! I visit your blog daily (without usually leaving comments...) but today, I have to !... "Mon oncle" is a wonderful movie ! you know "Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot" : holidays by the seaside with a lovely 50s feeling, or "Jour de fête", a little village in the countryside preparing for a celebration, with a lot of humour touches !!!

  3. Hi Christiane, we do have Monsieur Hulot's Holiday and Jour de fete, we also have Playtime. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday was the first one I saw, we saw it at the cinema, an old Art Deco cinema in East St Kilda in Melbourne. I just loved it.

  4. Thanks for answering, Jenny ! I'm glad to find Monsieur Hulot's fans
    so far !...Have a nice week-end !

  5. Greetings, Jenny!
    I am a faithful reader, although I don't often comment, but just had to pop out and say that I have fallen in *amour* with Tous Les Jours Dimanche, and was wondering whether you knew if there is a way to read it in English?
    Thank you so much for the recommendation, it's so nice to find a blog about a large-ish family living beautifully. I have several little ones and sometimes question my ability to do it all--a welcoming home, a simple, productive life, and happy, well-rounded children. It sounds simpler than it feels at times...Marion has provided the much-needed inspiration to begin anew. :)
    Thanks again!


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.