The Definitive Jacques Tati edited by Alison Castle
Oscar-winning French director/performer Jacques Tati (1907–1982) was a fiercely innovative and original filmmaker who found inspiration in the observation of life around him. By creating and playing unassuming characters thrown into the bustle of society—the hapless postman François and the maladroit Monsieur Hulot—Tati brilliantly exposed the ways in which class distinctions, social mores, architecture, and technology affect the basic ways that humans relate to one another.
Unlike Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, to whom he has frequently been compared, Tati took the everyday and recreated it, layered organically with visual and audio gags, for the audience to actively observe. His early work as a mime taught him how to generate laughter without words; in his films he used gestures, facial expressions, costumes, props, sets, sounds, music—everything but dialogue—to do the talking.
Tati’s films are truly universal and accessible to anyone, anywhere, who can appreciate the comedy of modern life. Tati once said “I want the film to begin when you leave the theater.” His greatest achievement was to show us that together, as the whole of humanity, we are characters starring in the greatest spectacle of all: life itself.
Graphic design by M/M (Paris)
Volume I, ‘Tati Films’: stills from all six feature films Volume II, ‘Tati Writes’: the complete screenplays, plus those of the unmade films The Illusionist and Confusion, illustrated by pages from Tati’s original drafts Volume III, ‘Tati Works’: a comprehensive survey of his life and work Volume IV, ‘Tati Explores’: essays on important themes in his films Volume V, ‘Tati Speaks’: quotations, interviews, and a previously unpublished memoir by Tati.
The Collector’s Edition includes:
An exclusive build-your-own-film set of Mon Oncle, complete with a 1/25 scale model of the Villa Arpel and 20 figurines from the movie
An electronic sound box with a selection of 16 key sound effects from Tati’s films
A Tati certificate and strip of film from an original 70 mm print of PlayTime
Director’s viewfinders in various aspect ratios
A poster from Tati's first feature film, Jour de fête