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  • Published: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409021827
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

Jacques Tati




The fascinating story behind one of France's greatest cinema legends. Bellos's elegantly written, illuminating biography charts the rise and fall of Jacques Tati

The full story of one of France's greatest cinema legends, a clown whose film-making innovation was to turn everyday life into an art form.

Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot, unmistakable with his pipe, brolly and striped socks, was a creation of slapstick genius that made audiences around the world laugh at the sheer absurdity of life. This biography charts Tati's rise and fall, from his earliest beginnings as a music hall mime during the Depression, to the success of Jour de Fête and Mon Oncle, to Playtime, the grandiose masterpiece that left the once celebrated director bankrupt and begging for equipment to complete his final films.

Analysing Tati's singular vision, Bellos reveals the intricate staging of his most famous gags and draws upon hitherto inaccessible archives to produce a unique assessment of his work and its context for film lovers and film students alike.

  • Published: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409021827
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the author

David Bellos

David Bellos had his first taste of translation when he read a Penguin Classics edition of Crime and Punishment while sitting in the attendant's hut in the car park at Southend Airport; that same summer, he got his first interpreting job – helping a seafood seller to import Portuguese oysters from a middleman in France. He went on to teach French language and literature at Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester, but it was only when he encountered Georges Perec's Life A User's Manual and was so convinced it should be read in English that he dared to think he too could become a translator. Since then he has translated many books from French and won numerous prizes, including the first Man Booker International Translator's Award and the Goncourt Prize for biography for the French translation of Georges Perec: A Life in Words. He is now Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton, where her directs the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He clings to the view that even the most difficult and complicated things can be spoken of in plain and comprehensible prose.

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Praise for Jacques Tati

[An] outstanding filmmaker biography... Deconstructs the French comedian-auteur as if he were an intricate human clock mechanism, which in some ways he was

Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

Elegantly written and illustrated, brilliantly illuminating about the work... this is a book of which Jacques Tati, who was extremely proud of his work but never thought much of himself, would surely approve

Margot Norman, Literary Review

The best of the year's biographies...David Bellos examines with perception and style how the creator of Monsieur Hulot staked a legitimate claim in a rapidly changing medium to the mantle once worn by Chaplin and Keaton

John Coldstream, Daily Telegraph

This splendidly illustrated book pays a handsome tribute to a comic creator whose craft was an art which turned a delight in human absurdity into the most accessible form of sanity

David Coward, Times Literary Supplement

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