Jacques Tati

Jacques Tati – Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot AKA Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday [Director’s Cut, Restored] (1953)

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One of the most original—and hilarious—comedies ever made, M. Hulot’s Holiday has delighted and disarmed moviegoers the world over since its first appearance in 1953. There’s little in the way of plot or dialogue to this French-made farce about a group of vacationers at a small seaside hotel. But an unconventional form has not stood in the way of audience appreciation of the film’s comic content—good, old-fashioned slapstick fun. Writer-director Jacques Tati’s penchant for physical wit has prompted many to compare M. Hulot’s Holiday to the silent classics of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. And truth to tell, the temptation for comparison is just about irresistible in light of the film’s hero, the hilariously accident-prone M. Hulot—played by Jacques Tati himself. Read More »

Jacques Tati – Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot AKA Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953) (HD)

Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort, where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. Tati’s masterpiece of gentle slapstick is a series of effortlessly well-choreographed sight gags involving dogs, boats, and firecrackers; it was the first entry in the Hulot series and the film that launched its maker to international stardom. Read More »

Jacques Tati – L’école des facteurs AKA The School for Postmen (1947)

Synopsis:
School for Postmen (French: L’École des facteurs) is a short film directed by Jacques Tati in 1947. Tati plays a French postman adamant to prove he can be just as fast as American postmen at delivering mail. The film includes several sight gags that involve his bicycle. He replicated most of the action here in his first major feature film, Jour de fête, released two years later. Read More »

Jacques Tati & Sophie Tatischeff – Forza Bastia (2002)

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“Forza Bastia” is a 26-minute film documenting a UEFA Cup match between PSV Eindhoven and French club SC Bastia at the Furiani Stadium in 1978. Jacques Tati directed the piece at the request of friend Gilberto Trigano – the President of the Bastia club at that time. It was subsequently shelved and kept in storage until Tati’s daughter Sophie Tatischeff eventually assembled the footage for release in 2002. Read More »

Jacques Tati – Parade (1974)

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A distillation not of Jacques Tati per se, but of communal spectacle and creation — cinema. The circus is the setting, abstracted into blank spotlights but with the audience always present, always as much a part of the show as the jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, drummers, and assorted pratfall artisans. At the center is Tati, silver-haired in a turtleneck, miming taking punches in the ring, riding a horse, directing traffic, swinging a tennis racket in slow-mo. Playtime and Traffic exhausted the French producers, so the auteur staged his swansong as a Swedish TV-special, a casual affair, a slender recording of dance-hall whimsy and a profound summarization of a man’s life and art. Read More »

Jacques Tati – Jour de fête AKA The Village Fair [1964 re-edited version] (1949)

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Synopsis
Jacques Tati’s award-winning feature début – a dazzling blend of satire and slapstick is early evidence of his unique talent. Acclaimed by international critics as an innovative comic masterpiece, Jour de fête is an hilarious exposé of the modern obsession with speed and efficiency, set amidst the rural surroundings of a tiny French village. Tati plays an appealingly self-deluded buffoon a postman who, impressed by the bristling efficiency of the American postal system, makes a wholly misguided attempt to introduce modern methods in the depths of rural France. Read More »

Jacques Tati – Play Time [+Extras] (1967)

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Synopsis

“Criterion” wrote:
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion. Read More »