Jacques Tatischeff (9 October 1907 5 November 1982), Tati for short, was a comedian and filmmaker born in Yvelines, France.
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 and (according to Rowan Atkinson) a major influence on Mr. Bean.
Jacques Tati on TV Tropes:
- Gai dimanche! (1935): Short film, co-written by and starring Tati, directed by Jacques Berr.
- Jour de fête (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 fellow Frenchman Sylvain Chomet. It is notable for its autobiographical elements concerning Tati and his daughter.
Tropes Associated With Tati's Work.
- Creator Thumbprint: His iconic character Mr. Hulot is a character he has played for four of his 6 movies he has directed.
- Nice Guy: Tati was a pretty decent person in real life. His character Mr. Hulot is also good-natured and lovable.
- Short-Lived, Big Impact: Tati directed only six movies over 25 years, and his last film Parade was a bare-bones film of a circus performance, so really only five. He is still hailed as one of the most innovative, influential film comedians ever.
- Signature Style: His movies are comedies barely have any dialogue. They are usually satires of modern progression and love letters to humanity.
- Silence Is Golden: Tati's films technically aren't silent as they all have a synchronized soundtrack of ambient noise. But there is very little dialogue in his films and most of what there is, is meaningless background chatter. The humor is usually visual, and occasionally auditory (like the guy in Playtime with very squeaky shoes), but never dialogue-based. If Tati's characters had been Speaking Simlish the films would be almost exactly the same.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His films are feel-good movies and are more on the idealistic end of the scale.
- Sadly, after his movie Playtime almost ruined him, Tati did end up writing a few more personal scripts that were a lot more depressing. One was called Confusion which ended with killing his most famous character, Mr. Hulot.