Though he made only a handful of films, director, writer, and actor Jacques Tati ranks among the most beloved of all cinematic geniuses. With a background in music hall and mime performance, Tati steadily built an ever-more-ambitious movie career that ultimately raised sight-gag comedy to the level of high art. In the surrogate character of the sweet and bumbling, eternally umbrella-toting and pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot, Tati invented a charming symbol of humanity lost in a relentlessly modernizing modern age. This set gathers his six hilarious features—Jour de fe^te, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle, PlayTime, Trafic, and Parade—along with seven delightful Tati-related short films.
Jour de fête
Even in this early work, Tati was brilliantly toying with the devices (silent visual gags, minimal yet deftly deployed sound effects) and exploring the theme (the absurdity of our increasing reliance on technology) that would define his cinema.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday
Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort, where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another.
Mon oncle is a supremely amusing satire of mechanized living and consumer society that earned the director the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PlayTime, a lasting record of a modern era tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.
In this, his final outing, Hulot is employed as an auto company’s director of design, and accompanies his new product (a “camping car” outfitted with absurd gadgetry) to an auto show in Amsterdam.
For his final film, Jacques Tati takes his camera to the circus, where the director himself serves as master of ceremonies.
- New digital restorations of all six feature films
- New digital restorations of all seven short films: On demande une brute (1934), Gai dimanche (1935), Soigne ton gauche (1936), L’école des facteurs (1946), Cours du soir (1967), Forza Bastia (1978), and Dégustation maison (1978)
- Two alternate versions of Jour de fête, a partly colorized 1964 version and the full-color 1995 rerelease version
- Original 1953 theatrical release version of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday
- My Uncle, the version of Mon oncle that director Jacques Tati created for English-language audiences
- Introductions by actor and comedian Terry Jones to Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle, and PlayTime
- Archival video and audio interviews with Tati
- In the Footsteps of Monsieur Hulot, a 1989 documentary about Tati’s beloved alter ego
- Five visual essays and a classroom lecture by Tati expert Ste´phane Goudet
- New interview with critic Michel Chion on Tati’s sound design
- “Jour de fête”: In Search of the Lost Color, a 1988 documentary on the restoration of the film to Tati’s original color vision
- Once Upon a Time . . . “Mon oncle,” a 2008 documentary on the making of the film
- Everything Is Beautiful, a 2005 piece on the fashion, furniture, and architecture of Mon oncle
- Selected-scene commentaries on PlayTime by Goudet, theater director Je´ro^me Deschamps, and critic Philip Kemp
- Tativille, a documentary shot on the set of PlayTime
- Beyond “PlayTime,” a short 2002 documentary featuring on-set footage
- “An Homage to Jacques Tati,” a 1982 program featuring Tati friend and set designer Jacques Lagrange
- Interview from 2006 with PlayTime script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
- Tati Story, a short biographical film from 2002
- Alternate international soundtracks for Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday and PlayTime
- New English subtitle translations
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics James Quandt, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Kristin Ross, and David Cairns