Jacques Tati (October 9 1907 – November 5 1982) was a noted French comedic filmmaker. He was born Jacques Tatischeff, the son of Russian father Georges-Emmanuel Tatischeff and Dutch mother Marcelle Claire Van Hoof, in Le Pecq, Yvelines, and died in Paris.
Originally a mime, in the late 1930s Tati recorded some of his early supporting cameos on film with some success and thus began his career as a filmmaker. His films have little audible dialogue, but instead are built around elaborate, tightly-choreographed visual gags and carefully integrated sound effects. In all but his very last film, Tati plays the lead character, who - with the exception of his first and last films - is the gauche and socially inept Monsieur Hulot. With his trademark raincoat, umbrella and pipe, Hulot is among the most memorable comic characters in cinema. There exist several recurrent themes in Tati's comedic work, most notably in Mon Oncle, Playtime, and Trafic . These include Western society's...
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Last updated: 03/06/10 at 02:47 PM
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Trafic (Traffic) is a 1971 comedy film directed by Jacques Tati. Trafic was the last film to feature Tati's famous character of Monsieur Hulot, and followed the vein of earlier Tati films that lampooned modern society.
In Trafic, Hulot is a bumbling automobile inventor travelling to an auto exhibition in a gadget-filled recreational vehicle.
Play Time is French director Jacques Tati's fourth major film, shot in 1964 through 1967 and released in 1967. Tati plays Monsieur Hulot, a comic character who appears in several of Tati's films. In Play Time, however, there are no real main characters and Hulot is often just a small part of the events on the screen. Play Time is notable for its enormous set, built specially for the film, and for Tati's trademark use of subtle, yet complex visual comedy supported by creative sound effects, with dialogue frequently reduced to the level of background noise.
In Play Time, Tati's character, M. Hulot, and a group of American tourists lose themselves in a futuristic glass and steel Paris, where only human nature and a few hints of old Paris briefly breathe life into the city. New technologies, billed as conveniences, are represented as merely complicating life and an interference to natural human interaction.
Play Time is structured in six sequences linked by two characters who keep...
Mon Oncle (My Uncle) is a 1958 film by Jacques Tati. It was Tati's first colour film - not counting the colour-debacle of Jour de Fête - and that same year won him the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Oscar), a Special Prize at Cannes, as well as the prestigious New York Film Critics Award, making it the most-awarded of Tati's films.
The film centers on the character of Monsieur Hulot (who had already appeared in Tati's previous comedy, Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot) and his comedic, quixotic and childlike struggle with postwar France's mindless obsession with modernity and American-style consumerism. As with most Tati films, Mon Oncle is largely a visual comedy, with voices and dialogue merged into the background noise of daily life.
M. Hulot is the idiosyncratic and much-adored uncle of young Gérard, who lives with his materialistic parents in an ultra-modern house in a new Paris suburb, situated next to the crumbling buildings of the older city. Gérard's parents, M....
Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (released as Monsieur Hulot's Holiday in the UK and as Mr. Hulot's Holiday in the USA), is one of Jacques Tati's most famous films, gaining an international reputation for its director upon its release in 1953. Les Vacances introduced the pipe-smoking, well-meaning but clumsy character of M. Hulot, who appears in a number of Tati's subsequent films, including Mon Oncle (1959), Playtime (1967), and Trafic (1971).Les Vacances follows the adventures of M. Hulot (played by Tati himself) as he spends the mandatory August vacation at a beach resort. The film lampoons several hidebound elements of French political and social classes along the way.The film was recorded with both French and English soundtracks. While Tati had experimented with color film in his previous film Jour de fête, Les Vacances is black and white. The jazz score is by Alain Romans.Les Vacances earned Tati an Oscar nomination (shared with Henri Marquet) for Best Original Screenplay.Les...
Jour de fête (aka Festival Day, The Big Day) (1949) is a comedy from the French director Jacques Tati. Jour de fête tells the story of an inept and easily-distracted French postal carrier who frequently interrupts his duties to converse with the local inhabitants, as well as inspect the traveling fair that has come to town. Influenced by too much wine and a newsreel on the rapidity of the American postal service, he goes to hilarious lengths to speed his mail deliveries aboard his bicycle.In Jour de fête, several characteristics of Tati's work appear for the first time in a full-length film. The film is largely a visual comedy, with dialogue often reduced to the level of background noise. In spite of this, sound remains a key element of the film, as Tati makes imaginative use of voices and other background sounds to provide humorous effects.The movie was originally filmed in Thomson-color, a process that became extinct before prints of the film could be shown. As the film could not be...
Jacques Tati was born