Jacques Tati (France, 1974)
Tati returns to the spirit of the music hall in Parade, his last film. Here the director created his own version of the mediated documentary, videotaping a circus (the acts, it seems, selected by him) for Swedish television, all the while orchestrating encounters among spectators, artists, and himself in the guise of a certain Monsieur Loyal. Between the acts Tati/Loyal performs some of his great mime routines (tennis of today and yesteryear, football, the horse and rider), while among the audience hilarious bits of Tati-business go on. But of course “between the acts” is another act, and the members of the “audience” are also performers in the show. This is a rare opportunity to see a charming work that was never released in North America.
• Written by Tati. Photographed by Jean Badal, Yunnar Fisher. (75 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, From French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, permission Janus/Criterion Collection)