Tati took no chances with his first feature, Jour de Fête. He'd developed his rural postman character in cabaret, fine-tuning the choreography of all those bike-and-satchel routines; and, as we see here, he even contrived a preliminary draft in the comparative privacy of a short film. No doubt something was learned, but his caricature of self-absorption, his vividly absurd miming of determination, pleasure, puzzlement and so on are already down pat; only the postman's dance in the café works better in this version, perhaps because here he dances alone. Tati deserved the happy accident whereby an extra dimension was added to the farce, with that towering frame and broad backside irresistibly recalling General de Gaulle.
Cast and crew