‘Trafic,’ directed by Jacques Tati

Movie, 1971

Comedy about a small, struggling French car manufacturer preparing a camper car for an Amsterdam motor show. The story is little more than that, and the attempts of Altra – the car company – to get their vehicle from Paris to the show. There are a few set pieces, including an intriguing pile-up, after which the occupants of each car seem to indulge and engage in physical exercise, and some comic moments, though the film seems to be ore about the crush of modern life, with frequent gridlocks, close-ups of drivers picking noses, and occasional escapes into more bucolic, restorative settings, while Hulot, Altra and their unhinged PR woman take time out for repairs. A film which is whimsical to a point, but also hopeful, satirical and rather splendid.

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