Criterion Collection: The Complete Jacques Tati

Criterion Collection: The Complete Jacques Tati

Director: Nicolas Ribowski, René Clément, Sophie Tatischeff
Cast: Jacques Tati

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Overview

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 constantly modernizing modern age. This set gathers his six hilarious features-Jour de fête, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle, PlayTime, Trafic, and Parade-along with seven delightful Tati-related short films.

JOUR DE FÊTE
In his enchanting debut feature, Jacques Tati stars as a fussbudget of a postman who is thrown for a loop when a traveling fair comes to his village. 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. Here, Jour de fête is presented in three versions: the original 1949 black-and-white release, a 1964 version featuring hand-painted color sequences and newly incorporated footage, and the full-color 1994 rerelease, which finally realized Tati’s original vision for the film.

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. 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. We are presenting Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday in the 1978 rerelease version, reedited by Tati himself, along with the original 1953 theatrical version.

MON ONCLE
Slapstick prevails again when Jacques Tati’s eccentric, old-fashioned hero, Monsieur Hulot, is set loose in Villa Arpel, the geometric, oppressively ultramodern home of his brother-in-law, and in the antiseptic plastic hose factory where he gets a job. The second Hulot movie and Tati’s first color film, 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. This edition features both the original French release and My Uncle, the version Tati created for English-speaking audiences.

PLAYTIME
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PlayTime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the loveably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modern world, this time Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, PlayTime is a lasting testament to a modern era tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

TRAFIC
In Jacques Tati’s Trafic, the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, kitted out as always with tan raincoat, beaten brown hat, and umbrella, takes to Paris’s highways and byways. In this, his final outing, Hulot is employed as an auto company’s director of design, and accompanies his new product (a camper outfitted with absurd gadgetry) to an auto show in Amsterdam. Naturally, the road there is paved with modern-age mishaps. This late-career delight is a masterful demonstration of the comic genius’s expert timing and sidesplitting knack for visual gags, and a bemused last look at technology run amok.

PARADE
For his final film, Jacques Tati takes his camera to the circus, where the director himself serves as master of ceremonies. Though it features many spectacles, including clowns, jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, and more, Parade also focuses on the spectators, making this stripped-down work a testament to the communion between audience and entertainment. Made for Swedish television (with Ingmar Bergman’s legendary director of photography Gunnar Fischer serving as one of its cinematographers), Parade is a touching career send-off that recalls its maker’s origins as a mime and theater performer.

TATI SHORTS
Jacques Tati’s career, which stretched from the mid-thirties to the late seventies, encompasses more than just the six features for which he’s best known. The charming short films he wrote or directed are essential parts of his filmography as well. Collected here, they include three wacky 1930s comedies he wrote and starred in-On demande une brute (1934), Gai dimanche (1935), Soigne ton gauche (1936)-and the two later films he directed and starred in: L’école des facteurs (1946), which introduces the postman character reprised in Jour de fête, and Cours du soir (1967), made during the filming of PlayTime. We’re also pleased to present Forza Bastia (1978), a soccer documentary begun by Tati and completed by his daughter Sophie Tatischeff after his death, and Dégustation maison (1978), Tatischeff’s César-winning short, shot in the town from Jour de fête.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2014
UPC: 0715515128414
Original Release: 0000
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Time: 9:59:00
Sales rank: 20,706

Special Features

  • New digital restorations of all six feature films
  • New digital restorations of all seven short films
  • Two alternate versions of Jour de fête, a partly colorized 1964 version and the full-color 1994 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 interviews with Tati
  • In the Footsteps of Monsieur Hulot, a 1989 documentary about Tati’s beloved alter ego
  • Five visual essays by Tati expert Stéphane Goudet
  • New interview with film scholar Michel Chion on the sound design of Tati’s films
  • “Jour de fête”: In Search of the Lost Color, a 1988 documentary on the process of realizing Tati’s original color vision for that film
  • Once Upon a Time . . . “Mon oncle,”  a 2008 documentary about the making of that 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 Jérôme 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 French TV program featuring Tati friend and set designer Jacques Lagrange
  • Audio interview with Tati from the U.S. premiere of PlayTime at the 1972 San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Interview with PlayTime script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot from 2006
  • Tati Story, a short biographical film from 2002
  • Professor Goudet’s Lessons, a 2013 classroom lecture by Goudet on Tati’s films
  • Alternate English-language soundtracks for Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday and PlayTime
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics David Cairns, James Quandt, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Kristin Ross

  • Cast & Crew

    Performance Credits
    Jacques Tati Actor,Circus performer,Francois,Hulot,Monsieur Hulot
    Barbara Dennek Young Tourist
    Guy Decomble Roger
    Jean-Pierre Zola Monsieur Arpel
    Karl Kossmayer Circus Performer
    Maria Kimberly Maria
    Nathalie Pascaud Martine
    Paul Demange Actor
    Alain Becourt Gerald Arpel
    Georges Montant Giffard
    Louis Perrault Fred
    Marcel Fravel Truck Driver
    Paul Frankeur Marcel
    Pierre Bramma Actor
    Adrienne Servantie Mme. Arpel
    Honore Bostel Managing Director of ALTRA
    John Abbey Lacs
    Michelle Rolla The Aunt
    Pia Colombo Actor
    Santa Relli Roger's wife
    André Dubois The Commandant
    Henri Piccoli An Important Gentleman
    Les Williams Actor
    Lucien Frégis M. Pichard
    Maine Vallee Jeanette
    Tony Knappers Dutch Garage Proprietor
    René Kolldehoff Actor
    Valentine Camax The Englishwoman

    Technical Credits
    Jacques Tati Director
    Nicolas Ribowski Director
    René Clément Director
    Sophie Tatischeff Director

    Scene Index

    Disc #1 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Jour de Fête
    1. Carnival in Town [9:29]
    2. Taking Charge [11:34]
    3. Delivery Route [7:42]
    4. "Anyone Can Win!" [11:41]
    5. Bottoms Up! [3:54]
    6. The Modern Postman [6:35]
    7. Too Much to Drink [6:58]
    8. A Better Method [7:28]
    9. Speed! Speed! [11:37]
    10. American-Style! [6:23]
    11. Back On the Road [3:46]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #2 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Jour de Fête
    1. Carnival in Town [7:42]
    2. Taking Charge [10:53]
    3. Delivery Route [6:45]
    4. "Anyone Can Win!" [11:33]
    5. Bottoms Up! [3:21]
    6. The Modern Postman [6:11]
    7. Too Much to Drink [6:43]
    8. A Better Method [6:18]
    9. Speed! Speed! [10:43]
    10. American-Style [6:04]
    11. Back On the Road [4:11]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    1. Carnival in Town [8:04]
    2. Taking Charge [10:17]
    3. Delivery Route [6:46]
    4. "Anyone Can Win!" [10:44]
    5. Bottoms Up! [3:34]
    6. The Modern Postman [6:16]
    7. Too Much to Drink [6:48]
    8. A Better Method [6:06]
    9. Speed! Speed! [10:53]
    10. American-Style [6:04]
    11. Back On the Road [4:32]
    Disc #3 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
    1. The Railway Station [4:35]
    2. Monsieur Hulot On the Road [3:28]
    3. Martine Unpacks [2:25]
    4. Enter Monsieur Hulot [4:39]
    5. The Hat Trick [1:44]
    6. Sur La Plage [5:09]
    7. Lunchtime [2:59]
    8. The Photograph [1:25]
    9. The Suitcase [3:05]
    10. Bridge or Jazz? [4:59]
    11. The Shark [7:53]
    12. The Funeral [6:02]
    13. "15...30...Game!" [6:09]
    14. Bridge or Table Tennis? [3:30]
    15. Off For a Ride [7:38]
    16. The Masked Ball [5:14]
    17. The Picnic [8:06]
    18. Monsieur Hulot Vanishes [1:44]
    19. Fireworks [4:18]
    20. End of Summer [3:39]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #4 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
    1. The Railway Station [4:02]
    2. Monsieur Hulot On the Road [3:53]
    3. Martine Unpacks [2:34]
    4. Enter Monsieur Hulot [5:17]
    5. The Hat Trick [1:55]
    6. Sur La Plage [6:01]
    7. Lunchtime [2:59]
    8. The Photograph [1:25]
    9. The Suitcase [5:20]
    10. Bridge or Jazz? [5:15]
    11. The Shark [8:06]
    12. The Funeral [7:02]
    13. "15...30...Game!" [6:36]
    14. Bridge or Table Tennis? [4:07]
    15. Off For a Ride [8:34]
    16. The Masked Ball [5:17]
    17. The Picnic [10:15]
    18. Monsieur Hulot Vanishes [1:49]
    19. Fireworks [4:52]
    20. End of Summer [4:30]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #5 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Mon Oncle
    1. Two Sides of the Fence [3:35]
    2. The Arpel Family [2:52]
    3. Cars [1:20]
    4. Downtown [2:03]
    5. Monsieur Hulot [5:21]
    6. The Car Trick [3:08]
    7. A Visitor [3:14]
    8. Evening Ritual [1:28]
    9. A Dishonest Scale [2:30]
    10. The Phone Call [2:13]
    11. The Job Interview [3:29]
    12. The Neighbor [3:12]
    13. Dinnertime [5:55]
    14. The Whistle Trick [5:55]
    15. "It's Always His Uncle" [4:08]
    16. Sunday Morning Downtown [6:56]
    17. The Garden Party [21:11]
    18. That Evening [1:55]
    19. Monsieur Hulot at Work [13:32]
    20. "Happy Anniversary" [3:37]
    21. Red Plastic Sausages [2:58]
    22. An Evening on the Town [4:58]
    23. A Good Morning [2:01]
    24. Good-Bye, Monsieur Hulot [3:39]
    25. The Airport [4:54]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #6 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Mon Oncle
    1. Two Sides of the Fence [3:45]
    2. The Arpel Family [2:51]
    3. Cars [1:14]
    4. Downtown [1:57]
    5. Monsieur Hulot [5:19]
    6. The Car Trick [2:53]
    7. A Visitor [3:26]
    8. Evening Ritual [1:14]
    9. A Dishonest Scale [2:19]
    10. The Phone Call [2:23]
    11. The Job Interview [3:21]
    12. The Neighbor [2:33]
    13. Dinnertime [6:02]
    14. The Whistle Trick [5:55]
    15. "It's Always His Uncle" [4:39]
    16. Sunday Morning Downtown [6:11]
    17. The Garden Party [20:04]
    18. That Evening [1:50]
    19. Monsieur Hulot at Work [11:50]
    20. "Happy Anniversary" [3:42]
    21. Red Plastic Sausages [2:34]
    22. An Evening On the Town [4:47]
    23. A Good Morning [1:23]
    24. Good-bye, Monsieur Hulot [3:31]
    25. The Airport [4:27]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #7 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: PlayTime
    1. Arrival From Frankfurt [6:21]
    2. "I Feel at Home Everywhere I Go" [3:02]
    3. Tour Bus [3:18]
    4. "All These Electrical Thingamajigs!" [3:43]
    5. The Waiting Room [4:46]
    6. A Modern Maze [8:39]
    7. Barbara Sees the Sights [2:59]
    8. "Slam Your Doors in Golden Silence" [4:27]
    9. Helpful Hulot [4:40]
    10. Hulot or No? [5:37]
    11. "Schneider, From the Army" [10:19]
    12. Out On the Town [2:34]
    13. Finishing Touches [3:19]
    14. Open for Business [3:56]
    15. Problematic Poisson [6:31]
    16. How "Tourist" [5:51]
    17. "The Army, Remember?" [4:53]
    18. The Band Steps In [3:57]
    19. Shall We Dance? [5:51]
    20. Welcome to the Club [6:25]
    21. Barbara Entertains [9:42]
    22. "I Do Love Paris" [4:43]
    23. A Souvenir [8:12]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #8 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: PlayTime
    1. A Triumph and a Disaster [4:27]
    2. An Abstract Ballet [8:09]
    3. Tativille/Satirical Ambivalence [11:55]
    4. Theatrics [3:32]
    5. Backstage/Structured Chaos [6:56]
    6. A Disenchanted Account [4:38]
    7. Ruin and a Recovered Reputation [7:01]
    1. The Reflection Room [2:59]
    2. Shopwindow Apartments [10:03]
    1. Tati's Favorite Actor [8:49]
    2. Restaurant Workers [1:11]
    3. Nonprofessional Actors [1:08]
    4. Fending for Oneself [2:04]
    Disc #9 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Trafic
    1. Preparations for the Show [10:04]
    2. On to Amsterdam [3:27]
    3. Running Late [6:55]
    4. Still in Belgium [4:01]
    5. Search for a Repairman [7:15]
    6. Opening Day [3:18]
    7. In Pursuit [1:49]
    8. New Models [2:50]
    9. Inspection [4:09]
    10. Fully Loaded [9:08]
    11. Taxi? [2:58]
    12. Pileup [5:25]
    13. Ride Home [3:15]
    14. Mr. Fix-It [5:49]
    15. Shoe Repair [3:06]
    16. Good Boy! [8:53]
    17. En Route [7:06]
    18. Show's Over [4:02]
    19. Rained Out [3:55]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #10 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Parade
    1. Audience Arrives [7:19]
    2. Good Sports [8:07]
    3. Magic Tricks [6:28]
    4. In the Biergarten [7:18]
    5. Juggling Paintbrushes [5:44]
    6. Drums and Dancing [2:41]
    7. A Game of Badminton [5:02]
    8. Horseplay [14:02]
    9. Ice Cream Intermission [5:04]
    10. Boom Circus Trio [5:26]
    11. Pia Colombo [6:34]
    12. "No Age for Rhythm" [8:34]
    13. After the Show [7:14]
    1. Color Bars [:20]
    Disc #11 -- The Complete Jacques Tati: Parade
    1. Early Inspiration [8:04]
    2. First Films [14:36]
    3. Birth of a Character [7:46]
    4. Dialogue and Action [9:01]
    5. Observing Characters [11:46]
    1. Worldwide Success [8:33]
    2. From Music Halls to PlayTime [13:43]
    3. Music and Artistic Freedom [7:38]
    4. "My Job is to Watch You" [9:15]
    5. Bringing Smiles [12:48]

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