110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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StevenJ0001
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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#126 Post by StevenJ0001 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:56 pm

Great, thank you!

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#127 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:57 pm

A 'web exclusive' video on the nightclub door in Playtime by David Cairns. I must admit that I'd completely missed the moments involving the chap who thinks he is running a fever when the wine isn't chilled and then Hulot accidentally drinking the medicine he prepares!

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#128 Post by manicsounds » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:11 am


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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#129 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:13 pm

How many pages long is the booklet?

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#130 Post by aox » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:16 am


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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#131 Post by AMalickLensFlare » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:33 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:How many pages long is the booklet?
62

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#132 Post by Zot! » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:19 am

Can anyone summarize, or point to a comparison between the criterion release and the SC? Does the Criterion have an obvious advantage?

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#133 Post by HitchcockLang » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:59 am

Zot! wrote:Can anyone summarize, or point to a comparison between the criterion release and the SC? Does the Criterion have an obvious advantage?
You can see a number of reviews for all the features from the CC box plus three from the SC (plus the old BFIs and the old CC PlayTime) here: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Compl ... 06/#Review" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My understanding is that the CC uses all the same masters from the SC for better or for worse (when SC used a master inferior to one on the BFIs, so did CC). The CC has the same seven shorts as the SC. The CC has almost all the same extras as the SC (there's an interview here or there that the CC did not use for one reason or another), but the CC has a lot more exclusive extra content not on the SC (mostly from the older CC editions). Hope this helps.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#134 Post by aox » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:50 pm

This set is just incredible. Might be top 5 for me of anything CC has done. Getting through it is taking me forever because I just keep rewatching the Hulot films over and over again. I haven't even sat down to Parade yet.

Did anyone notice in Jour de Fete about 28 minutes in, there is a scene with Tati and the hose where he falls through a wooden manhole cover with the hose spouting water vertically out of the hole until the villager shuts off the water? I couldn't help thinking this was the precursor gag to the spouting fish in Mon Oncle.

This might not be appropriate for this thread, but I want to ask if there was a Tati-equivalent in the 1940s/50s USSR under Stalin? Watching Jour de Fete really had me curious.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#135 Post by swo17 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:18 pm

Some thoughts (some of which may be recapping information already shared by others) after having been through this set along with the BFIs:

- The extras on Jour de fête paint it as some kind of miracle that the full-color version (Tati's intended primary version of the film) was eventually brought into being after his death. Not to mention that they tout it as the first ever French film in color. So this version is not just a mere curiosity. Chris's review here states that the superior version on the BFI release is "not without its own issues," but it should be noted that this has everything to do with the rudimentary color process used to make the film (again: first ever French film in color) and that the BFI's presentation of such is exemplary. In any case, I think I actually prefer the short L'école des facteurs, which introduces some of Jour de fête's best gags and makes exquisite use of its brief runtime.

- Having watched both versions of M. Hulot's Holiday with relatively little distance between them, I think I'm leaning toward the original theatrical version, primarily because I prefer the more laidback score. I'd also remembered the later version adding a good Jaws joke, though in truth, the best parts of that sequence were already intact in the original version. So it will likely be the original version that I return to in the future, and I will not be doing so from the Criterion set.

- I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that My Uncle should be the primary version of Mon oncle, though it is of significant historical value even if only because that's the version of the film that American audiences first saw, and which was awarded an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. It is also, as has been noted, a whole different edit composed of alternate takes of certain scenes. For instance, the "preparing an egg" gag plays much better in the English version. (If anyone knows of a comprehensive list of the differences like this between the versions, I'd be very interested to see it.)

- All of that being said, I can't personally complain too much about Criterion's presentations of the "alternate" versions of these films, since in the end, all it's really costing me is shelf space and whatever I would have made selling the BFIs before their value shot back up. Between the Criterion set and the individual BFI releases of these three films, my Tati needs for life are pretty much all taken care of. (But don't let this stop you from complaining, anyone for whom the BFIs are out of reach.)

- And all of that being said, all of the disappointments of the first three discs in the set are pretty much obliterated by how good PlayTime looks here. Finally it looks how "PlayTime on Blu-ray" always promised to look in my dreams.

- As a parting thought, I had a blast seeing all of these films again, this time with my young daughter. I don't think I've ever been more proud of her than when she turned to me, unprompted, to say "My favorite one is either My Uncle or PlayTime" (which happen to be my favorites as well). Of course, I later learned that this comment originated at least in part because she likes both her uncle and when it is time to play. But hey, with kids these days, you take what you can get.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#136 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:27 pm

Thanks for that, I don't think I've ever read a comparison based on back-to-back viewings before so it's much appreciated. I'm hoping that Criterion issues these titles separately, because the one I clearly want more than anything else is PlayTime.

I have the BFI editions for most of the rest, and the only one I was on the fence about was Mon Oncle - I don't like it as much as the other Hulot films, and it's not a bad transfer IMHO, so I'm reluctant to spring for an upgrade. But I've never seen the English language version, I was curious as to how the alternate takes compared to the French version. I'll have to check it out now, but it's great if it's actually a worthwhile version to return to and not just a "completists only" oddity.

Also, it still strikes me as curious that there hasn't been an uproar over M. Hulot's Holiday, at least not one that seems noticeable today. Usually when filmmakers make these sorts of revisions, it's met with massive disproval. The fact that he cut up the original negative and shot new footage decades after the fact just seems wrong on paper. It's not like this was a film that cried out for a revision. I haven't done a back-to-back comparison, but I never felt the original did anything particularly wrong that was then later corrected, and except for the Jaws, I don't recall any particular additions standing out.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#137 Post by swo17 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:41 pm

Off the top of my head, the rerelease generally has less dialogue, cuts out some tennis, eliminates the train scene at the end, peps up the soundtrack, and adds a postage stamp (in color) to the final shot. Other than the extended Jaws gag, I don't recall any additions. After all is said and done, it's about 10 minutes shorter. The changes aren't as glaring as for, say, The Gold Rush or Star Wars, but I do still noticeably prefer the original (and it's not as though I grew up with that version or anything).

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#138 Post by aox » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:46 am

Is My Uncle presented in 1080p or 1080i?

EDIT: n/m
My Uncle: This alternative version of Mon Oncle is presented in 1080p, but it appears to have been sourced from a standard definition master. Detail and image depth are not impressive, but overall image stability is very good.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#139 Post by swo17 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:05 am

It's noticeably inferior to the BFI presentation, though less so than is the case for the first two films, the full-color Jour de fête being practically unwatchable on the Criterion, and the original version of Holiday's lack of detail being especially glaring in black and white. My Uncle is probably about the same quality as the original version of Holiday on the Criterion, but the color masks the deficiencies a little.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#140 Post by whaleallright » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:53 pm

Any ideas as to why the editions of Jour de fête and M. Hulot's Holiday that were presented in HD on the BFI releases are presented in SD here? It seems unlikely to simply be an oversight on the part of Les Films de Mon oncle. Are they trying to ensure that the revised versions remain the definitive ones?

I'm glad that Stéphane Goudet discusses the differences between the versions of M. Hulot's Holiday in one of the extra features, but he does so in fairly broad strokes. The scroll that appears before the restored version of M. Hulot's Holiday implies that the score was "reorchestrated" and the the soundtrack "remixed." Those words seem like understatement. The soundtrack seems to me to have been almost entirely re-created, and the music is likewise starkly different. (The theme music over the opening credits of the 1953 version is almost lugubrious!) I think I prefer the revised soundtrack, but I'd like to know more about what Tati did. I've still yet to read anything that carefully documents the differences between the various versions of Tati's films, including PlayTime. Maybe this would only interest the cine-philologists.

I don't wish to seem ungrateful. Barring the problematic presentation of certain of the original versions, this might be the most generous collection Criterion has released.
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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#141 Post by swo17 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:47 pm

jonah.77 wrote:Any ideas as to why the editions of Jour de fête and M. Hulot's Holiday that were presented in HD on the BFI releases are presented in SD here? It seems unlikely to simply be an oversight on the part of Les Films de Mon oncle. Are they trying to ensure that the revised versions remain the definitive ones?
We've discussed that some already in this thread but basically, it's anyone's guess whether Criterion found the BFI's presentations cost-prohibitive, had access to them in the first place, or were even aware of their existence. Also, the problem with Jour de fête is more than just an SD vs. HD issue--the source used for the Criterion was in significantly worse condition.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#142 Post by whaleallright » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:46 am

Reading through the booklet, it's interesting that the different authors reveal—sometimes only in passing, or by exclusion—which Tati films they prefer. Kristin Ross refers to his "major" films as Mon oncle, PlayTime, and Trafic. James Quandt implies that Parade was an aesthetic failure. Jonathan Rosenbaum is somewhat dismissive of Mon oncle as being less innovative and more story-driven than the features that preceded and followed it. The only consensus favorite appears to be PlayTime.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#143 Post by aox » Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:05 am

I've sat through the majority of the set and watched the Hulot films themselves at least twice, and I actually still haven't watched Parade. Given the harsh criticism it has received and hinted reasons Tati was involved in the production (desperate for $$$), I am sort of dreading it.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#144 Post by Mathew2468 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:18 am

I love Parade. His lightest film but it's very much in the same spirit and it's great to see real people participating.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#145 Post by Werewolf by Night » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:19 pm

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#146 Post by jsteffe » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:26 pm

jonah.77 wrote:Reading through the booklet, it's interesting that the different authors reveal—sometimes only in passing, or by exclusion—which Tati films they prefer. Kristin Ross refers to his "major" films as Mon oncle, PlayTime, and Trafic. James Quandt implies that Parade was an aesthetic failure. Jonathan Rosenbaum is somewhat dismissive of Mon oncle as being less innovative and more story-driven than the features that preceded and followed it. The only consensus favorite appears to be PlayTime.
My favorite Tati quote is still from Pauline Kael on Mon Oncle: "There are genuinely inventive moments [...] But the moments are intermittent, and a fundamental miscasting confuses the issues: shouldn't the unemotional, gawky, butterfingered Tati be playing the plastics manufacturer rather than the warm, friendly uncle?" I've long thought she was right about that film and, by extension, about Tati's presence in general. PlayTime is a masterpiece, though.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#147 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:09 pm

I think she's hideously wrong in that way only Pauline Kael could be.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#148 Post by Zot! » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:56 pm

jsteffe wrote: My favorite Tati quote is still from Pauline Kael on Mon Oncle: "There are genuinely inventive moments [...] But the moments are intermittent, and a fundamental miscasting confuses the issues: shouldn't the unemotional, gawky, butterfingered Tati be playing the plastics manufacturer rather than the warm, friendly uncle?" I've long thought she was right about that film and, by extension, about Tati's presence in general. PlayTime is a masterpiece, though.
I'm not sure if I understand this, she wants Tati to play the Dad? That makes no sense.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#149 Post by jsteffe » Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:14 pm

Zot! wrote:I'm not sure if I understand this, she wants Tati to play the Dad? That makes no sense.
I don't think Kael really wanted Tati to play the father--she was making a snide comment about Tati's screen presence and his gifts as a physical comedian. At least that's how I interpreted it. I should point out that she actually did like some of the film's visual gags, though.

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Re: 110-112, 439, 729-731 The Complete Jacques Tati

#150 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:17 am

I found Playtime exhausting the first time I watched it. After about an hour I couldn't wait for it to be over just so that my eyes could get some relief. It seems like a film I'd like better in short bursts. At full length, it's all a bit much. I'll revisit it and see if my opinion has changed, but I'm not looking forward to it. Much more excited for Mon Oncle, which I haven't seen since highschool. Also it always reminds of me of the title of that Wallace Stevens poem, Le Monocle de Mon Oncle.

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