“The Party” is the closest that Hollywood has ever come to replicating Jacques Tati.
It’s also - unfortunately- hideously racist; even within the context of its own time.
The only non-“Panther” collaboration between Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers, “The Party” stars Sellers in brownface as a minor Indian actor that finds himself fumbling around a bigwig Hollywood house hang.
Much of “The Party” - filmed only from an outline of a script - is deeply rooted in the environmental humor of Tati. But filtered through Hollywood’s lens, it becomes an experimental film that laid ground for so much of modern comedic cinema.
The improv-heavy and in-sequence shooting format is now all but standard form; cultivating invention and spontaneity that have…