Friday, December 25, 2009

Magnifique! ... Jacques Tati, Coast to Coast

Here's stocking stuffer, and, Oh Boy!, what a gift this is going to be.

We have, a few times (Here and Here), referenced the legendary comedy actor-writer-director Jacques Tati here on The Garlic.

If you love comedy, subtle (and at times, over-the-head), intelligent, ingenious, brilliant comedy, and you are not hip to Jacques Tati, then use one of the gift cards you'll be getting for Christmas, go out and pick up some of his films - you will be spending wisely and well-rewarded.

Or, maybe you'll be lucky enough to catch this;

Jacques Tati, Coast to Coast

"The Museum of Modern Art's retrospective of the French screenwriter, director, and actor Jacques Tati (born Jacques Tatischeff, 1907–1982) features newly struck, gloriously restored 35mm prints of his six feature films," brags the Museum, and well they should: "Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, Playtime, Mon Oncle, his long-dreamed-of colorized version of Jour de fête, the revelatory Traffic, and the little-seen Parade - along with three short sketch films." The series runs through January 2 and Jordan Hruska (T Magazine) notes that, architecturally, "MoMA is a perfect venue" for it, while Nicolas Rapold (Voice) notes that it follows "the huge Cinémathèque Française exhibition" and: "Besides a 1936 René Clément short with gangly Tati as a farm boy recruited for sparring (sports-based routines were initially his specialty), MoMA also shows the delightful Cours du soir (1966), shot during Playtime downtime, in which Tati presides at a night school for pratfalls and mime. It's quite an education, but then, Tati was always good at training us all as observational comedians."


Updates, 12/22: Mr Hulot's Holiday "is likely the purest distillation of Tati's aesthetic," argues Brian Darr. "It's a film in tune with the elements: wind, water, sand, etc. The director gets great comic mileage out of the most seemingly insignificant things, like the sound a door makes when opening and closing, or a tennis swing, or the tide rolling onto the shore.

Here's a few short snips you can check out.

Jaques Tati - Mon Oncle (Kitchen Scene)

Playtime - Jacques Tati - Window Cleaning

Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) - Jacques Tati

Bonus Links

The Jacques Tati Website, Tativille

Jacques Tati 1908-1982

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