The Party (Edwards, 1968) & Playtime (Tati,1967)
Edwards biographers Peter Lehman and William Luhr said, “The Party may very well be one of the most radically experimental films in Hollywood history; in fact it may be the single most radical film since D.W. Griffith's style came to dominate the American cinema.”
Film historian Saul Austerlitz wrote, “Despite the offensiveness of Sellers’s brownface routine, The Party is one of his very best films… Taking a page from Tati, this is neorealist comedy, purposefully lacking a director’s guiding eye: look here, look there. The screen is crammed full of activity, and the audience’s eyes are left to wander where they may.”
The film draws much inspiration from the works of Jacques Tati; Bakshi arrives at the party in a Morgan three-wheeler which may suggest Monsieur Hulot’s car in Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. However, it was not the same car (Salmson AL3). The entire film storyline is reminiscent of the Royal Garden restaurant sequence of Playtime; and the comedic interaction with inanimate objects and gadgets parallels several of Tati’s films, especially Mon Oncle.