Jacques Tatischeff (Tati for short) was a comedy filmmaker born in Yveslines, France in 1907. He worked as a professional rugby player and a music hall performer before getting involved in French cinema. His movie career spanned from the late 1930s to the late 1970s, although as a director he only made six feature films, beating Stanley Kubrick (but not Charles Laughton) as one of the least prolific filmmakers still held in high regard.
Tati's comedies are known for their attacks on materialism and for having barely any dialogue. Many of them feature a character called Monsieur Hulot, played by Tati, who is in many ways the French equivalent of Charlie Chaplin's famous Tramp.
These are his major works:
- Jour De Fete (1949), Features more dialogue than in his other films; though the humour is still mostly visual.
- Monsieur Hulots Holiday (1953), the first of Tati's works starring Hulot. Later remade in English as Mr Beans Holiday.
- Mon Oncle (1958)
- Play Time (1967)
- Trafic (1971), the swan song of Hulot
- Parade (1974)
- The Illusionist (2010): Tati did not direct it. This is an animated film that was made 25 years after Tati's death, based on one of his scripts, by a Canadian filmmaker named Sylvain Chomet. It is notable for its autobiographical elements concerning Tati and his daughter.