Jour de Fête

Date: 1949
Director: Jacques Tati
Production Company: Cady Films, Panoramic Films

Stars: Guy Decomble, Jacques Tati, Paul Frankeur, Santa Relli
Location(s): Cher, Indre (France)

Region(s):

Storyline:

Once a year, for one day only, the fair comes to a small French town.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

The film was originally shot in both black and white and an early, untried colour process but it wasn’t until 1995 that the colour version was released.

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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.


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A travelling fair heads for the fictional town of Follainville.

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A small boy sees the fair and runs to follow. Rien Kleinjan advises that this shot is taken from near the houses on the hill on Les Terriers de Saint-Espr, Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre 36160 in Centre-Val de Loire.

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The youngster skips along behind the trailer filled with carousel horses.

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Geese walk ahead of the slow moving tractor as it enters town.

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The tractor draws up in the town square and Roger, the proprietor of the fair, goes to find the Mayor. This is Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre, France.

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At the cafe, Roger (Guy Decomble) sits down as Bondu (Jacques Beauvais) points out the newly varnished seats to Monsieur le Maire.

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Marie, Bondu's wife, shows off her new dress. Many of the actors appearing in this film were residents of Sainte-Sévère.

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The Hairdresser (Roger Rafal) and another Shopkeeper come out into the square as an Old Woman (Delcassan) watches.

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The evening's cinema performance is announced. Jacques Tati fan Tony Turner advises that the town looks pretty much unchanged and that there is now a museum in the square which is dedicated to the film.

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Roger approaches Jeannette (Maine Vallée) as she reads a poster advertising the fair's cinema.

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A dress is carefully carried home by Monsieur Charpi for his daughter to wear at the fair.

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On his round, François (Jacques Tati) the postman cycles towards town. Unknown location.

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As preparations for the fair get under way, the men of Follainville struggle to put up the flagpole. Place du Marché, Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre.

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After François rides into town, he gets involved with the problem flag pole.

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Roger and Marcel (Paul Frankeur) discus the raising of the pole and put François in charge.

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Because he has neglected his postal duties, François rushes to finish his round.

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François leaves a house after delivering a telegram.

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Even though he's running late, François still makes time to stop and tell everyone about his supervision of the flag pole.

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After a delivery to Emile, François has difficulty locating his mail bag.

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Now also carrying a cake as a favour for the Baker, François gets caught up as a donkey is reversed into a cart's shafts.

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François cycles away after collecting mail from a post box. Pascheco advises that this is Église Sainte-Anne de Nohant in Nohant-Vic, some 20 km to the north of Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre and next to the childhood home of novelist George Sand.

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Mothers with children make their way past the stalls and carousel erected in the square.

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The organ starts up and townsfolk begin heading for the fair.

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A crowd gathers as a trumpeter rides pillion through the square.

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More people ride and walk to the fair.

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The trumpeter catches up with his band as they march through the town. Rue du Vatican in Sainte-Sévère, Indre.

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The band reaches the square.

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Follainvilliens flock to join in the fun. Sainte-Sévère's 17th century Market Halle is prominent in the square.

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Bondu and his Wife are busy at the cafe.

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A car speeds into town. What a giveaway! A sign on the outskirts of Sainte-Sévère. Rue du Pont Rouge.

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The car skids to a halt as François passes in front.

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François tries his hand at one of the side shows.

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After much wine drinking the night before, morning dawns on the day after the fair.

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Godot comes out of his home and the town begins to come back to life.

François sleeps inside a railway van at the town's station after consuming far too much red wine and cognac on the previous evening. The station is on Rue des Vaslins, Marçais, Cher.

image no 35

The same location now. Image copyright Google Streetview.

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The railway van is shunted along the siding towards another wagon. The narrow gauge line was operated by the Société générale des chemins de fer économiques (SE) and ran between La Guerche and Châteaumeillant before closing in 1951.

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The impact wakes François, who climbs out of the van to look for his bike. Marçais station.

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Remembering the documentary film shown at the fair about the speed of the U.S. Mail system, François approaches Roger and Marcel for help in making his own service more efficient.

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The Showmen advise François on his methods.

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Practicing new ways to mount and dismount, François heads for the Post Office.

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François arrives at the Post Office. The sign on the wall reads 'Sainte-Sévère' and the building still stands near the corner of Rue Pierre et Paul Boury and Place de l'Église.

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When he leaves the Office, François grabs onto a passing truck to speed him on his way. Place de l'Église and the junction with Avenue de l'Auvergne.

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Now being super efficient, François postmarks his letters on the tailgate of the truck as he is pulled along. Looking along Avenue de l'Auvergne.

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Customers are called to their doors to speed up the round.

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The speedy postman rides off to make more deliveries.

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François rushes towards the church. Rien Kleinjan identifies this as Place de l'eglise, Pouligny-Notre-Dame 36160 in Centre-Val de Loire.

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After wasting no time, deliveries are made to outlying farms and François heads back towards the town centre.

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The Baker rides ahead, telling everyone to look out for François.

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François leans his bike agaist a car as he makes another delivery.

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After the car is driven away with his bike attached, François takes chase.

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Townsfolk watch as the pursuit continues.

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The bike becomes detached as the car turns a corner.

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François follows the 1911 Peugeot bicycle as it runs on out of control.

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Man and machine race on.

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A car brakes as the bike passes, followed by François.

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A moment is taken to deliver a letter. The sign probably says Hotel de la Commerce.

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The riderless cycle passes a Policeman on point duty.

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The bicycle comes to rest outside a cafe.

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François continues his search before being reunited with his bike and finishing the round "American style".

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The flagpole is taken down. Sainte Sevère-sur-Indre, France.

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Roger and his travelling fair move on to the next town.