Jacques Tati is affectionately
remembered for his two characters, François, the gawky postman of Jour
de fête and the equally clumsy but well-meaning Monsieur Hulot. Jean Yatove’s
comic yet tenderly nostalgic score for Jour de fête opens this compilation.
The music is light popular ballad cum Jazz in style with trumpet, accordion,
and xylophone contributing comic comment. The soundtrack excerpts here include
a little spoken dialogue (to sharpen up your French) together with risible sound
effects of angry bees, recalcitrant geese and hens, tractors, schoolchildren,
workmen and the horn of François’s rickety old bicycle.
Mon Oncle has the loveable eccentric
Monsieur Hulot visiting relatives who live in an ultra-modern house. Hulot fails
to come to grips with its newfangled gadgets with chaotic results. Borsellini’s
cheeky, and often chaotic jazzy score is suitably perkily melodic and comic.
Again there is amusing dialogue and sound effects. But better-known and more
fondly-remembered is the hilariously anarchic Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot.
Alain Romans frenetic trad jazz, tinged Gallic, score is a perfect complement
to the action. Sound effects include, waves crashing on the seashore, shop bells,
Hulot’s old banger of a car, old ballads heard on an old ill-tuned radio against
scenes of a windswept and rainy seaside promenade bring back precious memories
and there is also that chaotic tennis match with English dialogue. Finally,
the third Hulot film: Playtime in which the hapless hero again struggles with
automation at an ultra-modern hotel. Francis Lemarque’s quirky experimental
score is even more frenetic with jazz rhythms given to drums with odd sounding
percussion (like squeaky brake drums) and odd vocals; as well as fairground
music and Latin dance music. This is the most interesting score musically. Once
more your French is necessary to fully appreciate the dialogue.
An evocative souvenir for admirers of the inimitable French clown, Jacques Tati.