MovieChat Forums > Trafic (1972) Discussion > ANTAR service station

ANTAR service station


I was confused with people purchasing sculptures of heads (busts) at the petrol station. Is this just another zany Tati invention or is there some other reason for it being in the film?

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There are probably a few reasons. The busts are just a preposterous thing to be given out at a gas station but everyone takes one because... well... it's free. Also the busts are a pitiful representation of classical art forced upon the modern world and its cars. Also, I didn't notice this but it wouldn't surprise me if the busts in some way resemble, either physically or personality-wise, the people to whom they are give in the same way the cars resemble their drivers like in the scene at the end showing people in their cars with their windshield wipers going.

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It's a subtle criticism of the consumerism society. "Fill you car up with gas at us, and you will get this free ancient bust!" And everybody is like "Ehh, yeah, okey, then?" It's just a gag, both in the complete juxtaposition between gas and busts, but also that no one questions the sanity of it. They just fill their cars with useless stuff.



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Back then, gas stations used to give you free things as a way to get you to use their station. Gas stations used to be flashier, the attendants used to clean your wind shields and check your oil as they gassed the car. Now, some useless teenager sits behind a bullet proof partition.

It's a fun bit too.

Expansion to your ego.

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they used to give things like that away when you bought petrol. I used to go on holiday with my parents to france as a child in the 60s and 70s, and different companies would offer sets of things to collect. i remember one year it ws cameos of famous lovers. you got a display board and then every time you bought petrol you got little packets with cameos to add to the board - romeo and Juliet, antony and Cleopatra, Napoleon and Josephine, paris andH elen of Troy etc. and of course there was always the annoyance of opening the packets and finding duplucates - "Oh no, not abelard again, I need Madame du Pompadour" "I've got Chopin, I must get George Sand" etc etc. I think it is a major difference between the French and the english - I could not imagine British garages trying to entice customers with cameos of famous lovers - famous football players or sopa stars maybe, but abelard and Heloise? Romeo and Juliet? somehow i don't think so.

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