A bicycle race is held every year in a pass of the Alps called Parpaillon. With the energy of a skillful cyclist perhaps as a great tribute to François, the mailman played by Tati in The Big Day, Moullet makes a comedy by pedaling at a pace that allows him to reinvent the possibilities of film gags.


“My main aim is to make people laugh. For me, that’s very easy: lost between the rustic peasant world whose rituals I have forgotten and the chic Parisian world into which I have never really assimilated, I am a character who is out of place; everybody finds me comical. I only need to show up for people to laugh. So it’s not because I’ve got any great skills: I take full advantage of my situation. And this comedy factor goes beyond my personal self, stretching into whatever I care to imagine.” 

Luc Moullet1


“There is a very strong connection between cycling and cinema: both need two wheels to create their spinning images. Moullet practises both disciplines, both forms of art. It is not surprising then to read that there was a time when he tried to link up the two in the single creative impulse: ‘I once had this idea [for working on the development of a screenplay]. I had found the perfect cycling circuit, with the Mt Saulce pass (877 metres), the Tourettes pass (1125 m), the Fays pass (1051 m), the Roussas pass (1115 m) and the Carabes pass (an altitude of 1264 m). I kept thinking about the screenplay all along the journey, and several sequences were ready when I arrived, as long as the weather was fine ... My front wheel carried along the thread of my thoughts which developed with each change in the landscape ...’ By using the cycling circuit not only as a structure which gives the screenplay its architecture, but as the very subject of the film, Parpaillon appears as the culmination of a process whereby the cinema invents itself, conjuring itself as freewheeling and out of the saddle, taking its rhythm from pedalling and changing gears, relaunching itself at every bend and at the slightest movement urged by the body.”

Fabien Boully2

UPDATED ON 02.05.2024
IMDB: tt0105100