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Comment: Appears unread; pages clean & crisp with no marks; tight spine, no creases; cover has mild wear. Ships in poly bag.
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Jacques Tati (Panther S) Paperback – July 26, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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$19.40 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best of the year's biographies is Jacques Tati: His Life and Art, in which 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

About the Author

David Bellos is the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also a professor of French and comparative literature. He has won many awards for his translations of Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare, and others, including the Man Booker International Translator s Award. He also received the Prix Goncourt for "George Perec: A Life in Words". He is the author of the book "Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything".
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Product Details

  • Series: Panther S
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK; Revised ed. edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860469248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860469244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
David Bellos and Jacques Tati: What an odd combination. The odd thing about it is that David Bellos is a much-respected translator of French writer Georges Perec's novels, in addition to being Perec's biographer, and he's a much-admired expert on French literature. So why would he be interested in writing a biography of one of cinema's great clowns, Jacques Tati, especially when Bellos admits he is not a film fanatic and feels that if he had met Tati, he wouldn't have been able to spend more than five minutes in conversation with the man? Bellos cites his interest in Tati's artistry and his place in what the author calls "the trente glorieuses -- the 30 glorious years of rising prosperity in France from 1945 to 1975." These are the years during which Tati did his amazing work. He was not only one of the great filmmakers but also an artist who commented on humankind's interest and need for work and leisure -- with hilarious results. And his set designs have been a hit with architects around the world.
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.
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By A Customer on July 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Bellos presents the itinerary of a life and something more of a career, but Jacques Tati remains largely a mystery. I'll reread this biography, ignoring the narrow, academic view of intellect and flawless, postwar judgments of wartime behavior, and I'll recommend it to others. But I'll continue to hope that someone will write a life of Tati filled with scenes as revealing and eloquent as Hulot's resetting of a brick in a crumbling Paris wall.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Far from producing a well-informed biography of France's greatest cinematic clown, Jacques Tati, instead Bellos ruthlessly dissects. Despite his clinical approach, there is just enough tantalising information about Tati, the brilliant creator of Monsieur Hulot, to hold my attention.

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...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bellos' biography of Jaqcques Tati do not only provide a detailed historical description, but brings Tati the producer and actor alive right there on the kindle. For the novice, it certainly tantalizes you to Tati's films within a few chapters, confirming the acutely sensitive understanding of the French artist. The historical contexts remained interesting. A good read for any one interested in biography, history, film and art. The rather detailed descriptions of all the film productions perhaps for the specialist reader.
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