Jacques Tati - French national treasure

M. Hulot’s holiday – Jacques Tati

"Jacques Tati directs and stars as M. Hulot in one of the funniest films ever made. Mr. Hulot's Holiday is required viewing in the French Foreign Ministry. Its rumored that Hitler sent the Gestapo to destroy all copies. His car is an affront to decency.”

In the late 1930’s the French actress Colette wrote this about Jacques Tati’s finely-tuned “Impressions Sportives” performances at the ABC theatre in Paris:

"From now on no celebration, no artistic or acrobatic spectacle can do without this amazing performer, who has invented something quite his own...His act is partly ballet and partly sport, partly satire and partly charade. He has devised a way of being both the player, the ball and the tennis racquet, of being simultaneously the football and the goalkeeper, the boxer and the opponent, the bicycle and the cyclist. Without any props, he conjures up his accessories and his partners. He has suggestive powers of all great artists. How gratifying it was to see the audience's warm reaction! Tati's success says a lot about the sophistication of the allegedly "uncouth" public, about its taste for novelty and its appreciation of style. Jacques Tati, the horse and rider conjured, will show all of Paris the living image of that legendary creature, the centaur.”

Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot 1953

Jacques Tati Mon Oncle movie France 1958 – Trailer

I first saw this film in 1970 as a novice student of architecture and at once its satire was both inspiring and profoundly confusing as it used the very modernism that I was being taught to pay homage to as the vehicle with which to ridicule it. But it worked its magic and the blinkers of modernism were never able to quite close shut tight properly. To this day I still smile as random moment of Tati’s genius drift into mind.

The plot is simple "Monsieur Hulot's brother-in-law is the manager of a factory where plastics are manufactured. His nephew grows up in a house where everything is fully automated and the boy is raised in a similar fashion. To take away the influence of the uncle on his son, his brother-in-law gets Hulot a job in his factory......."

Mon Oncle the classic "The house" scene from the movie

"An incredible house that every one of us has seen in one form or another somewhere..."

Playtime – Businessman 1967