Prix du meilleur scénario au Festival de Venise en 1949.
Grand prix du cinéma à Paris en 1950.
A man playing a woman!
The character of the cyclist postman born in Soigne ton gauche in 1936 is called François in L'école des facteurs in 1946. This short film of 18 minutes is rough version of Jour de Fête.
The action of Jour de Fête takes place around the little place of Sainte-Sévère -called Follainville in the movie- between the arrival and the departure of the stallholders.
During the fair, François discovers a film on the American post-office. Impressed by the feats of the postmen and humiliated by the inhabitants' jockes, François rides his bicycle in order to re-conquer the French postman's dignity...
The Sainte-Sévère's inhabitants and the shooting team are friends, so there is a great atmosphere during the shooting.
Tati records all the atmosphere sounds during the shooting whereas the dialogs are recorded after the end of the shooting. In 1961, Tati adds the magnetic quality to the soundtrack.
The Thomson society offers Tati a new kind of film that makes it possible to film in color. Thus, Jour de Fête should be the first French film in color!
As a precaution, Tati shoots simultaneously with a color and a black and white camera. What a good idea! In fact, the new process doesn't work and Thomson closes its plants during the shooting of this film...
What a disappointment! Jour de Fête could have been the first French movie in color. Moreover, Tati was expecting color. The stallholders bring happiness and color to a small gloomy village. This is why Tati has colored some details of the film himself with stencils in 1964.
Thanks to the stencils!
In 1988, because of the common efforts of a TV team (cinéma - cinémas) and the Eurocitel laboratories, the Thomson-color process is cracked. The spectators now have to wait for 1995 in order to see the original version of Jour de Fête in color at the cinema (During these 10 years the whole film had been treated and the original editing done...).
Today, in the small village of Sainte-Sévère, François the postman is still remembered... and his American round of course...