Mon Oncle

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Mon Oncle, made in 1958, shows Jacques Tati as he takes up his recurring role as Monsieur Hulot, the good-natured bumbler of a Frenchman who's always just a little out of touch. It's the second Hulot movie, and this time around Hulot has a nephew. The kid, Gerard, is trapped in an ultramodern monster house, where there's nowhere to play, the kitchen cooks eggs by itself, and his mother only turns on the dribbling fish fountain for important guests. (Gerard's uncle doesn't seem to count.) For Gerard, his uncle is a representative of a traditional France that his house is trying to push into irrelevancy. The little boy vastly prefers to accompany his uncle to the old section of town, where there are lampposts that people run into, vendors who'll sell tasty food, and stray puppies galore. Gerard's uncle is infinitely superior to Gerard's harassed daddy, even if (or perhaps because) he never catches on to Gerard's pranks.

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