1. As you carefully watch the scene, what do you learn about the character of Hulot (Jacques Tati) as he walks up to his apartment? As we observe Hulot we learn a few things about him. He is a creature of habit and routine ( he seems to follow the same routine whether he is coming home or going out); he is polite and mannerly (excusing himself and tipping his hat to neighbors); he is fastidious (although not well off, his clothes are clean but not crisp); he lives alone; he likes to hear and see what is going on in the neighborhood, he is a private person as evidenced by his not stopping long to chat with the neighbors he encounters, somewhat trusting ( leaving his apartment key over the door, enjoys birds singing; a quick study of things (figures out that the bird will sing if it gets the sunshine) and he is kind as shown with his interaction with the young girl both at the beginning and at the end of the scene (gives her fruit and takes her offered melted bob bons.
2. How is the building used to support Tati’s physical comedy? The building is a hodgepodge of styles of architecture with evidence of many add-ons. His going up and across the various stairs and floors cause us to keep an eye out as to where he is headed. His use of his umbrella and satchel are his props. The windows give framing almost as if he is in a picture or painting as he moves up through the building. His use of the squeaky window and tying it into the bird singing and the suns reflection. If this would have been a single floor building we would not have experienced this simple yet curiosity filled scene of him heading home.