It felt slight the first time around, but, wow, this really is a great film. It now reminds me of two other television productions from great European directors around the same time period, Fellini's Clowns and Bergman's The Magic Flute. Many people love those films, both very mediocre in their respective directors' canons, but there seems to be little love for Parade. It is deliberately low-key, but I found a lot in it this second time. At first glance, it doesn't seem to be much more than a filmed circus performance. But there's more. We don't only see the performances, although they probably take up most of the screen time. We also see the performers backstage. We see how much they love to do this. Even during the intermission, when no member of the audience can see him, Tati performs one of his mime acts for his fellow performers. And, something I didn't pay much attention to the first time, these performers, when they're backstage - and sometimes when they're on the stage - are constantly painting, painting pictures, the sets, all kinds of things. Not only is this film about the love of performance, but the love of artistic creation. And not only is it about that, but it's also about the audience's joy of watching the performers, and, sometimes, their joy of interacting with the performers onstage. Parade buzzes with a sense of Andre Bazin's famed moment. There's so much beauty to be found. And then there's that gorgeous ending, with the little boy and girl re-enacting the circus performers as they break down their sets and disappear. What a magical image Tati has left us, his final of the cinema. I love him more than, I believe, any other director. He touches me deeply in my heart.
Comedy / Family
Comedy / Family
Two children go behind the scenes of a small circus.
September 11, 2020