Jacques Tati

Jacques Tati (born Jacques Tatischeff; born October 9, 1907 in Le Pecq in the department of Seine- et- Oise, Yvelines today, † November 4, 1982 in Paris) was a French screenwriter, actor and director.

With the developed and illustrated his character of Monsieur Hulot, he conquered a place in film history - and with a total of only five long feature films. As an actor, he made use of the means of pantomime and slapstick and acted in the person of Monsieur Hulot as a tireless critic of civilization.

As a director Tati was - even if its content is often the good old days conjured - his time in many ways far ahead. He impressed, for example, through the imaginative use of modern film- technical means. In addition, he was a loner who seek complete artistic control over his films. Darin and his penchant for perfectionism it is comparable to the field of film comedy most likely with Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton.


Tati is French -Russian- Dutch- Italian origin. His father Georges Emmanuel Tatischeff was a son of the military attaché at the Russian Embassy in Paris, Count Dimitri Tatischeff and French Rose Anathalie Alinquant. Georges Emmanuel Tatischeff was married to Claire van Hoff. Tati was married from 1944 until his death, with Micheline Winter, with whom he had a daughter and a son: the director Sophie Tatischeff ( 1946-2001 ) in 1978 awarded a César, Pierre Tati ( b. 1949 ) had worked as a film producer active.

Early success

Jacques Tati came from the stage where he had success with pantomimic scenes in which he parodied sports and travel by different modes of transport. Beginning of the 1930s, he first appeared in short films, such as a tennis champion.

1947 Tati had his breakthrough with the first self- written and directed feature film Jour de fête ( Tatis Marksmen ). Tati produced the film in both color and black and white. Due to technical inadequacies of the then-new Thomson color system Jour de fête was ( Tatis Marksmen ) later published only in black and white version. Nevertheless, the film is considered the first French color film.

His second film Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot ( The Mr. Hulot's Holiday ) plays at the Hôtel de la Plage (which still exists today as a slightly altered Hotel) in a seaside resort ( Saint -Marc- sur -Mer, near Saint- Nazaire in Loire -Atlantique ). It shows for the first time Tati's alter ego Hulot, an amiable individuals with a hat and a long pipe which discharges a constant battle with the pitfalls of modern civilization and the modern manners. The film won the 1953 Louis- Delluc Prize, the screenplay was nominated for an Oscar in 1956. An essential feature of the film was the almost complete absence of dialogue. The main character Monsieur Hulot, the embodiment of a bumbling anti-heroes are as good as any intelligible word from him. And of the few dialogues go the most in loud background noise or they are mutilated except for a few scraps to the almost complete obscurity. In his subsequent films Tati then used more language, usually in the form of monologues, to support his thoroughly critical worldview. On background noise he wanted to renounce never, as they are an essential part of our environment and thus affect our emotions.

In Mon Oncle ( My Uncle ) has Monsieur Hulot to do with the ultra-modern house of his sister's family - and with his failure in the modern technology and its special relationship with his nephew and the pitfalls of the object. The film won the 1958 Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the Prize of the French Film Critics as well as the 1959 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

"Playtime " and the last years

This success encouraged Tati then to his great project. For Playtime (1967 ) Tati had a huge area set with skyscrapers outside Paris build ( Tativille ). Here Hulot wanders seemingly endlessly around in a Paris that seems to consist only of skyscrapers and office blocks, looking for a Monsieur Girard, with whom he wants to meet. The elaborate Playtime proved to be extraordinarily expensive: Tati turned to 70 mm film, the production time was 3 years, the budget was between five and twelve million francs. Despite brilliant production design, a visionary camera and excellent press ( Danish Bodil Film Prize 1969) failed "Playtime " but at the box office.

Due to the debt left by Playtime, Tati was forced to make Hulot back at the center of the film, what he really had wanted to avoid in " Trafic " (1971). In the film, he tries to bring a car prototype in time for a car show.

But Tati could not turn away and pulled his disappointment from the film business back its insolvency. 1974 only still followed a produced for Swedish television circus film for children entitled " Parade".

Tati in 1977 was awarded the honorary César of the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema.

Jacques Tati died on 4 November 1982, in a pulmonary embolism and was interred in the Cimetière ancien in Saint- Germain -en- Laye.

Published in 2010, French director Sylvain Chomet The Illusionist with an animated film which is based on an unpublished screenplay Tati in 1956 and the famous comedian takes as the title hero. Chomet had received the script of Tati's daughter Sophie. On the occasion of the theatrical release reported in the international press about an illegitimate daughter of the artist, Helga Marie -Jeanne Schiel, who is said to have inspired him to the script. These come from a relationship with the Austrian Herta Schiel, is said to have collaborated with the Tati during the German occupation in Paris vaudeville theater. Tati himself never acknowledged as his daughter Helga.


Unless otherwise specified, (additional) as an actor:

Movie Documentary

  • Jacques Tati - The democratic laughter ( original title: Jacques Tati - le vere démocratique ). French TV documentary by Pierre Philippe ( 2002), 53 minutes