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Jacques Tati (Panther S) Paperback – July 26, 2011
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There is nothing more moderne than a Tati film. Tati made fun of the French love for le gadget: everything from Le Corbusier-style chaises longues to cars that had grills suitable for barbecuing. Jacques Tati is weak as a biography, insofar as Bellos doesn't get into Tati's head, but the book is strong when Bellos writes about Tati's films and his Kubrick-like madness in waiting for the perfect shot, perfect moment, perfect anything. Like Kubrick, Tati was an unforgiving perfectionist, and although he was a funnyman on film, Tati was quite moody and depressed during the shoots. His single-minded intensity in getting the film he wanted eventually destroyed him financially; for the masterpiece Playtime, Tati built a small modern city as a set, which caused his accountant to flip his lid.Read more ›
Do I really want to know about the various colour film processes available in France? Not really. Nor do I want to read yet again about the dire financial straits France found itself in after World War I, as well as what was going on in Europe during the years before and after World War II! Acres of text have already been written concerning these times and events.
When I purchase a book purportedly written about one of my all-time favourite comedic heroes, I fully expect to read about the man - nothing else. But instead it seems to me that Bellos has turned his book into an intellectual diatribe against Tati, coldly ripping his memory apart. In fact Bellos is more like a mortician, clinically wishing to expose the body lying on the slab before him by carving it up to look at its many parts, rather than appreciate the whole. He appears to think of Jacques Tati as nothing more than a mere coincidence in the scheme of things, when in fact the reverse is true.
Now if only someone would write a truly worthwhile biography of Jacques...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well-researched and organized and gave me a lot of insight into the man behind the internationally famous M. Hulot. Read morePublished on February 27, 2011 by Charles J Ziarko
Jacques Tati is finally exposed for all to analyze. His singlemindedness, his need for total control... Read morePublished on February 18, 2007 by David Wineberg