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Jour de fete [UK] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: French LPCM 2.0  (48kHz/24-bit), English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)(1964 Version)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: U
  • Run Time: 81 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: BFI
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 29, 2012
  • RRP: £19.99

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Jacques Tati’s 1949 feature-film debut Jour de fete is a reasonably pleasant rural comedy starring Tati as François, a postman and, by all appearances, a buffoon, who, self-deluded, makes attempts to introduce modern techniques of the American postal system to a rural village with hilariously disastrous consequences. Despite what are some funny moments throughout, the film lacks the originality of Tati’s later post-modernist masterpieces featuring his character M. Hulot, Mon oncle and Playtime. The inventive juxtapositions of modernist technology, sites, and sounds are absent for a more straightforward, mundane approach to physical gags that often drag on just a bit too long. In fact, many of the gags from Jour de fete originated in Tati’s previous short film L’Ecole des facteurs and were reused exactly.

At the heart of the film, however, still lies the common theme that Tati would play with throughout his career, though he would sculpt it and refine over the years. That is the struggle against the technological juggernaut, as we see in François constantly thwarted efforts to modernize a hopelessly outdated system of delivering the mail – and that’s the way the townsfolk in Jour de fete like it best.

Video Quality

[Rating:2/5]

No amount of massaging can make this flawed Thomsoncolor source from which Jour de fete has finally been restored to something resembling its originally intended color presentation look good. The vertical lines, pale saturation, and softness are all inherent to this “honeycomb” color process. On top of that, there’s lots of noticeable source damage, a real lack of contrast and crush.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Audio doesn’t fare too much better, being provided on here in rather thin and boxy French LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) track. There is a lack of clarity in the dialogue at times and lots of audible hiss.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Again, this is a rather thin package for the BFI. The on-disc extras only include the 1964 re-edit of the film by Jacques Tati and the booklet as one essay from Philip Kemp and a Tati bio.

The supplements:

  • 1964 Version (1.37:1; 1080p/24; English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit))
  • Booklet: Essay by Philip Kemp, Tati bio.
  • DVD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Jour de fete may not rank as one of Tati’s greatest films, but it is an interesting look at the filmmaker during an early period in his feature film career. Tackling many of the same topics, albeit in a different way and with varying degrees of success, here Tati is more an experimenter than a master sculptor.

Additional Screen Captures

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00911MH2I[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]



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