Paris: Cady Films, circa 1970. French petite poster from the 1970s re-release of the 1949 film.
In Jacques Tati's charming and beautifully plotless pre-Hulot first feature, Tati is Francois, a contented and happy postman in a small, unhurried French village. Francois is at ease with his job and leisurely performs his duties, peddling away on his rounds upon his beloved bicycle. A carnival comes to town, and one of the attractions is a film depicting the United States Postal Service's fast and efficient postal delivery system. The narrator in the film exhorts, "Rapidite, rapidite." Francois takes up the call, and attempts to Americanize his work style.
In a manner that has become legendary in the eyes of film history, Tati originally shot this film in two simultaneous processes: a black-and-white version and an experimental color version called "Thomson-Color." He was forced to release the black-and-white version when he ran into problems printing the color version, choosing to hand-tint select sequences. Finally, in the late 1990s his daughter, a film editor, prepared and released a color version of the entire film.
24 x 32 inches, folded. Small holograph pencil notation to the verso, else Near Fine.
BFI 603, Criterion Collection 730. Godard, Histoire(s) du cinema. Rosenbaum 1000.