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Discovering Jacques Tati - TheAwareMan

My first encounter with his work was in a small French cinema theatre in Liverpool, England.

The semester had come to an end and a very good friend of mine was hell bent on watching this movie.

It was a happy coincidence to have Jacques's work shown in Liverpool, because as you move away from New York, London and Cannes, chances of encountering him get slimmer and slimmer.

A silent comedy. A French picture from the late 50’s.

It was a wonderful discovery, a revelation to say the least, his films.

Although Jacques was active from 1932 - 74, the handful of films he made has left an ever lasting impression on me. He was explicable in giving a cinematic take on the world around him with deeds like Capitalism and Modern Consumerism taking over humanity, all topped off with a twist of Chaplin like comedy.

More broadly his cinema is a depiction of the upper class, kids playing, modernisation and mass entertainment. Now I know that may seem a lot, but believe me, his compositions seem articulated mathematically yet effortlessly spontaneous.

Tati features in his movies as his alter ego, Monsieur Hulot.

And might I add we thoroughly enjoy his presence. More often than not Tati deliberately conceals his own character to one side of the screen. Tall and lanky, Hulot is so likeable you almost miss that he is virtually mute. Adults look at him as a kid who never grew up while the children almost immediately take to him.

I’d recommend watching Mon Oncle and M. Hulot’s Holiday above all.

Mon Oncle depicts Hulot and his nephews story, revolving around an ultra modern home where everything appears and disappears at the press of a button.

M Hulots Holiday is a tale of Hulot’s vacation to a beachside hotel where he accidentally causes havoc.

This weekend do yourselves a favour and indulge in some of his best work.

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