My uncle/Mon oncle

screening in the context of "Naturale inclinazione" 2018
, from

Tati’s masterpiece, Special Jury Prize at the 1958 Cannes Festival and Oscar for best foreign film in 1959, shows the havoc an unresolved relationship with history may wreak on our landscapes and gardens.

Although the celebrated running gag of the fountain that is only activated for important guests is the evident symbol of merely formal modernity, a status symbol devoid of any significance, uncle Hulot perfectly embodies the unequivocal discomfort of all those who do not accept the annihilation of the human dimension in favour of an orderly and artificial world, inhabited by people whose feelings are equally aseptic.

The frigid, ultramodern style of the Arpel villa and the factory is inevitably overpowered by the quirky, colourful and lively world of the lower class neighbourhood and the house where M. Hulot lives, and he acts as mediator not just between generations but also between these two opposite worlds. Through its irresistible gags, Tati’s provocative and hilarious tale offers a reflection, far from shallow, on the conflict between past and present and on the need to focus on people and their comfort, as individuals or members of a community, when designing places.