Mark Fleischmann
April 05, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Parade

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Jacques Tati
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B+

The karmic wheel of film comedy brought the spirits of Chaplin and Keaton to postwar France, where they reemerged in the movies of Jacques Tati. Here the great Gallic actor- director serves as ringmaster of a hippie circus in which a hockey team disrupts the string quartet and clowns steal the spotlight from the rock band. The ringmaster spices up his unconventional non-narrative with his own sparkling physical comedy. But what makes this distinctively a Tati film is the way the director dotes on children in the audience, even turning over the stage to them in the final frames. In the world according to Tati (as in the world of his fans Steven Spielberg and George Lucas), the uninhibited delight of kids is the greatest show on earth. This TV movie — Tati’s last work — doesn’t match his 1967 masterpiece Playtime, but Parade is a sweet work of visual poetry from comedy’s gentlest genius. B+

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