No, this has nothing to do with books. I am just in a mood, a funk if you will. It’s summer’s end here in Methuen, MA, USA [Latitude 42-42-00.3260N. Longitude, 071-12-58.2130W. ] (see the big red building in the center of the Google map? that’s my house) Time to clean off the porch, pull the a/c units out of the window and start wearing shoes again. I have been out of school 20 years and I still get that sense of ennui. Not that I do anything in summer I can’t do any other time of year, but the potential has passed.
As retaliation to all the beach books that I again did not make time to read, I top off the passing season with a viewing of Jacques Tati’s Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953).(Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) Tati was a French comic genius of the first order, on par with Buster Keaton. He appears as his serenely oblivious alter ego M. Hulot in almost all of his six films. This is the first and the best.
M. Hulot’s Holiday is a post card in a bottle, to be brought out and enjoyed from time to time. If you flinch at the thought of reading subtitles, relax, there are very few. Aside from a handful of lines this film has nearly no discernible dialogue. It’s not about dialogue, it’s not about anything really. M. Hulot has gone to a beach resort along with many other vacationers who are determined to enjoy themselves. That’s it. A charming, uniquely funny film designed to evoke feelings, memories and a lot of giggles. I had very few summers at the sea side as a child, and those I remember involve extended family members and volcanic feuds. But Tati’s film allows me to remember an idyllic vacation I have never experienced.
Anyways I just want to share that, I haven’t as yet found a book that gives me the same all over good feeling.