Oscar-winning French filmmaker/performer Jacques Tati, one of the most important figures in the history of cinema, is the subject of this comprehensive and long-overdue tribute to a singular artistic genius. Made with the support of Tati’s rights holders Les Films de Mon Oncle, who allowed unprecedented access to his archives, and designed by M/M (Paris), this stunning five-volume publication gathers original essays, interviews, and screenplays, plus hundreds of photographs, stills, letters, sketches, notes, and production materials.
Unlike Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, to whom he has frequently been compared, Tati took the everyday and recreated it, layered organically with visual and audio gags, for the audience to actively observe. His early work as a mime taught him how to generate laughter without words; in his films he used gestures, facial expressions, costumes, props, sets, sounds, music—everything but dialogue—to do the talking.
Tati’s films are truly universal and accessible to anyone, anywhere, who can appreciate the comedy of modern life. Tati once said “I want the film to begin when you leave the theater.” His greatest achievement was to show us that together, as the whole of humanity, we are characters starring in the greatest spectacle of all: life itself.
In 2000, Macha Makeïeff and Jérôme Deschamps founded Les Films de Mon Oncle with the late Sophie Tatisheff, daughter of Tati, to preserve and promote Tati’s archives and legacy. This definitive exploration of Tati’s life and work, made possible by the complete and unprecedented access to the archives that they provided TASCHEN, features hundreds of photographs and film stills, the complete screenplays, interviews, original essays, and a vast selection of documents, letters, sketches, and notes spanning five volumes.
Designed by M/M (Paris), the set includes:
- Volume I, ‘Tati Films’: stills from all six feature films
- Volume II, ‘Tati Writes’: the complete screenplays, plus those of the unmade films The Illusionist and Confusion, illustrated by pages from Tati’s original drafts
- Volume III, ‘Tati Works’: a comprehensive survey of his life and work
- Volume IV, ‘Tati Explores’: essays on important themes in his films
- Volume V, ‘Tati Speaks’: quotations, interviews, and a previously unpublished memoir by Tati