Jacques Tatischeff (Tati for short) was a comedy filmmaker born in Yveslines, France in 1907. He worked as a professional rugby player and a music hall performer before getting involved in French cinema. His movie career spanned from the late 1930s to the late 1970s, although as a director he only made six feature films, beating Stanley Kubrick
(but not Charles Laughton
) as one of the least prolific filmmakers still held in high regard.
Tati's comedies are known for their attacks on materialism and for having barely any dialogue. Many of them feature a character named Monsieur Hulot, played by Tati, who is in many ways the French equivalent of Charlie Chaplin
's famous Tramp.
These are his major works:
- Jour De Fete (1949): Features more dialogue than in his other films; though the humor is still mostly visual.
- Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953): The first of Tati's works starring Hulot. Later remade in English as Mr. Bean's Holiday.
- Mon Oncle (1958): Another Hulot outing, and Tati's first film in color.
- Playtime (1967): Which not only dispenses with meaningful dialogue, but also with lead actors (although Hulot does pop up intermittently).
- Trafic (1971): The swan song of Hulot.
- Parade (1974)
- The Illusionist (2010): An animated film made 25 years after Tati's death, based on one of his scripts, by a Canadian filmmaker named Sylvain Chomet. It is notable for its autobiographical elements concerning Tati and his daughter.