6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A pretty good release,
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This review is from: Jour de fête (DVD and Blu-ray) (DVD)
Here, we have Jacques Tati's first feature film (intended to be the first French colour feature, although it didn't quite work out like this) and several extras. Presented here is the restored colour version of the original film. This falls slightly short of the perfection and class of Tati's later efforts (Les Vacances, Mon Oncle and Playtime), but has plenty of clever jokes, several stunts, and is amazingly atmospheric, showing a France that could have existed for ever. This is presented in HD and looks as good as it's going to (I saw it in the cinema and it looked slightly pixellated then--Technicolor it isn't).
The enclosed booklet explains the problems with making a colour print, and why it couldn't be done until the 1990s.
We also have a crisp transfer of the stencil-coloured 1964 version, where Tati added a painter to give an additional, English commentary (and obviate the need for subtitles). I like this version of the film. I was intrigued to see if it matched the BFI VHS of the 1990s. Bizarrely, that VHS version has the same painter, but lacks the overdubbed English commentary and has subtitles. The VHS version therefore remains unissued on disc, and no reference is made to it in the booklet in this package. Having said that, I think the version presented is superior for Anglophone audiences, and should be visually identical.
Included is the BFI's former Tati Shorts VHS, the three films Soigne ton Gauche (reissue print), L'Ecole des Facteurs (the template for Jour de Fete) and Playtime-era Cours du Soir. It is disappointing that fresh transfers in HD have not been made of these films, and they appear on the DVD only (not the Blu-Ray). Quality of these items is adequate.
Tati fans will doubtless want this package, and it's a perfect opportunity to get two versions of Jour de Fete in superb quality. If you want to see the French 1964 version, you'll need to look out the old BFI VHS.
Purchasers may be interested to know that, coming soon, some of ABC Weekend Television's Tempo series is coming to DVD, including a show on Tati: Tempo - Volume 1 [DVD]