Excerpt from Godard on Godard.
“With him, French neo-realism was born. Jour de Fete resembled Rome, Open City in inspiration. Less liked because more reticent, Hulot, too, invited us to savor in secret the bitterness and the pleasures of life. Yes, this moon-man is a poet, as Tristan the Hermit once was. He sees problems where there are none, and finds them. He is capable of filming a beach scene simply to show that the children building a sandcastle drown the sound of the waves with their cries. He will also shoot a scene just because at the moment a window is opening in a house away in the background, and a window opening – well, that’s funny. This is what interests Tati. Everything and nothing. Blades of grass, a kite, children, a little old man, anything, everything which is at once real, bizarre and charming. Jacques Tati has a felling for comedy because he has a feeling for strangness. A conversation with him is impossible. He is, par excellence, an anti-theoretician. His films are good in spite of his ideas. Made by anyone else, Jour de Fete and Hulot would be nothing. Having become with these two films the best French director of comedy since Max Linder, Jacques Tati may with his third, Mon Oncle become quite simply the best.”