Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jacques Tati Retrospective

On Tuesday I was lucky enough to catch a screening of Play Time, Jacques Tati's undisputed comedic masterpiece and possibly my favorite film of all time. The print was absolutely beautiful - restored for the 2002 Cannes Film Festival by Macha Makeïeff through her distribution company, Les films de mon oncle. Makeïeff was even there in person for a Q&A afterwards, in which she discussed the beauty in Tati's image, theatrical influences, Tatiland as a representation of the modern city (rather than an interpretation of circa-1967 Paris), and Tati's amazing comedic ability to transform objects into sources of tension.

A clip from Play Time

I can not stress enough how beautiful Tati's films are. Though he only made five in the span of thirty years, each one is rich with humor and a unique understanding of the world. Generally unknown to those outside of the academic cinema world, his work remains criminally underrated and unseen. Thankfully the French Institute is hosting a retrospective of all of Tati's films throughout the month of April. While it may be too late to catch Play Time (make sure to rent the fantastic Criterion release on DVD), you can still go see Mon Oncle, Parade, and M.Hulot's Holiday. Catching these films on print is rare, so if you're in NYC anytime soon, I highly suggest you check them out. Here are the dates:

Tuesday, April 17 at 12:30, 4 & 7:30pm
Four Short Films By Tati

Friday, April 20 at 7pm
Mon Oncle (My Uncle)

Tuesday, April 24 at 12:30 & 7:30pm

Tuesday, April 24 at 4 & 9pm
Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot (Mr. Hulot's Holiday)

All screenings are at the Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street.

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