Segments in this Video

Jacques Tati (03:32)


David Bellos discusses Tati's family background and youth. Tati becomes an apprentice framer at age 16, plays rugby, and trains himself to be a mime.

Art and Entertainment (06:02)

Steve Wasson discusses avant-garde Paris, Tati's innate talent as an artist, and his discovery by a producer for "Les Enfants Du Paradis." In the 1930s, Tati begins making short comic films; he continues performing "Sporting Impressions" on stage.

"School for Postmen" (06:30)

The success of Tati's short film leads to the creation of "Jour de Fete" where he acts, writes, and directs. Filming takes place in Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre with two cameras—one black and white and the other color; the film releases in 1949.

"Mr. Hulot's Holiday" (05:40)

Tati's black and white film releases in 1953 and takes comedy films in a new direction; Mr. Hulot is a new type of character. Experts compare Tati and Charlie Chaplin.

"My Uncle" (08:02)

Tati appears on "The Steve Allen Show" to promote his new movie; he films French and English versions. All of the sound in Tati's films is done post-production.

Film Success (04:46)

Tati wins the Oscar for best foreign film in 1959; he meets Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Mack Sennett, and Stan Laurel. Tati begins using 70mm Technicolor film and builds a studio complex.

"Playtime" (08:43)

Tati intends for the film to be his masterpiece. Experts discuss the expense of filming, audience response, the dismantling of "Tativille," and Tati's financial ruin.

"Traffic" (04:00)

In the 1970s, Tati films outside of France. He first collaborates with Bert Haanstra and the film is a modest success. Tati makes a television circus series in Sweden.

Tati's Final Years (02:09)

Tati battles with an illness for 10 years and writes the script for "Confusion." Ron and Russell Mael discuss issues that prevented filming. Tati dies in 1982.

Les Films de Mon Oncle (08:03)

Sophie Tatischeff's dedication to her father's work is vital to its preservation; Macha Makeieff continues the tradition. Experts discuss Tati's cinematic style, "Playtime," and his legacy.

Credits: The Magnificent Tati (01:35)

Credits: The Magnificent Tati

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The Magnificent Tati

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Jacques Tati, France's unique master of comedy film, was a loner and did not belong to any school except his own. His four main feature films (Jour de Fete, Les vacances de M Hulot, Mon Oncle and Playtime), made between 1947 and 1968, were created almost entirely by him, as writer, director, and star. Tati invites you to see not the comedian, but comedy itself. That explains why he's given us the adjective 'tatiesque' to describe the delicious absurdity of human behavior. Director Michael House explores the life and work of the Tati through clips and interviews with those who know his work best. The program follows Tati's origins as a mime on the Parisian music-hall stage to his Oscar-winning Mon Oncle, and tells how Tati lost it all on his masterpiece Playtime. The film culminates with clips of contemporary artists paying tribute to the great man's work. Featured are: Sylvian Chomet, Mike Mills, Frank Black, Professor David Bellos, Marie-France Siegler, Stephane Goudet, Gamarjobat, Craig McCracken, Sparks, Macha Makeïeff, Professor Martine Beugnet, Steven Wasson, Corinne Soum, and Tati himself.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL202964

ISBN: 978-1-64867-549-2

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.