Happy New Year to you all
Here at Monico Movies HQ we are monitoring the lockdown situation, alas re-opening still seems some way off.
We all know that lockdown means we have to stay home and keep ourselves and others safe from the spread of this pernicious virus, but not being able to take off to the seaside or out into the wilds or travel to another town or city is of course very frustrating. But we need to find ways to keep our spirits up. The MM crew have been sharing their discoveries when going for local walks in and around Rhiwbina, such as locating the blue plaques that have been installed by The Rhiwbina Civic Society or by taking a hike up The Wennalt.
However, if you’re like us when the wanderlust gets a hold we embrace the magic of the movies and take a celluloid journey further afield (for younger readers, celluloid is an old fashioned synonym for films).
A favourite of ours at Monico Movies is Mr Hulot’s Holiday (U) (aka Les Vacances de M. Hulot). Filming for this 1953 French comedy took place in the sleepy seaside resort, San Marc sur Mer on France’s north-western Atlantic Coast.
This was the setting for Jaques Tati to introduce us to Monsieur Hulot, one of cinema’s great comic creations. Drawing inspiration from the great masters of visual comedy, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy.
Monsieur Hulot has a distinctive lurching walk, he is clumsy and somewhat naive of the world around him, but he has a friendly, well-meaning and good-natured persona. His escapades usually involve clashes with technology. In Mr Hulot’s Holiday, he comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation and accidentally, but good-naturedly, causes havoc.
Jaques Tati made a further three Mr. Hulot films: Mon Oncle (1958), Playtime (1967) and Trafic (1971).
The DVD can be rented from Cinema Paradiso.co.uk ( link ) we have been unable to find a streaming rental.
In this next film, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013 PG), imagined journeys are at the very heart of the film. Based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To escape the tedium, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. Walter fancies a fellow employee named Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) and would love to date her, but he feels unworthy. However, he gets a chance to have a real adventure when Life’s new owners send him on a mission to obtain the perfect photo for the final print issue.
The cinematography is fabulous, frame after frame of perfectly composed scenes of the most spectacular landscapes. There are also wonderful cameo appearances from Shirley MacLaine and Sean Penn.
A lot of the scenes (even the ones from the Himalayas and Afghanistan) are filmed in Iceland and some in Greenland.