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JACQUES TATI

 

The world of mechanical automation, of satirising consumer society, of disconcerting choreographies and everyday relationships, these are the many and diverse avenues opened by French filmmaker Jacques Tati (1908-1982), immortalised by the character of Mr. Hulot. The relationship between the characters’ personal dynamics and all the mechanisms of modern city life is one of the focal points of his work. Tati was concerned with issues related to consumer society and modernism in general, at a time (the late 1950s) when new social relations emerged through the expansion of capitalism and the emergence of a growing new middle class. All aspects of human life, the relationship with new equipment, with appliances and the popularisation of the automobile, and their interaction with architecture and urbanism, are part of Tati’s unique cinematographic world.

 

Within the context of Tati’s extensive work, the first Curtas Vila do Conde presented two of his short films “Soigne ton gauche” (1936), influenced by his experience in the 1930s as a theatre and Parisian cabaret music hall director, and “L’École dês facteurs” (1946), a tribute to the silent films of the 1920s with references to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. The success of this short film led Tati to his first feature “Jour de Fête”. A contemporary of the artistic explosion of the Nouvelle Vague, with films by Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut being released in 1959, Tati never became a member of this movement, preferring to fashion a new style in cinema, while obstinately striving to follow the golden rules from the films of the 1920s.