pierre-tati

“The critics and the public wanted the pathos of M. Hulot’s Holiday and Mon oncle. They got Playtime, a comedy entirely devoted to space, in which Tati, as Hulot, hovers at the periphery of his own creation and has the elegance, which very few comedians share, not to put the spotlight on his own mug. The public and the critics turned against Tati. They were of course wrong, and the film is one of those few that get better by the year. It’s a silent film with sound; its color scheme is in a narrow band between gray and blue that aggressively underscores the painterly logic of Tati’s conceit. The film gives itself the luxury to reinvent choreography and as such dazzles with the megalomania of its enterprise and the diabolical precision the filmmaker had to conjure up to pull it off.”

– Jean-Pierre Gorin on Tati’s Playtime 

Still from Playtime (1967, dir. Jacques Tati)

Pierre Etaix & Jacques Tati

For his third full-length film, Tati joins together around him the same crew of “Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot” or “Jour de fête”. Pierre Etaix joins the crew (age 27)
During all the preparation and the shooting of “Mon Oncle”, Pierre Etaix will make thousands of drawings for Tati. For 4½ years, he was involved in every stage of the filmmaking process. He drew for Tati and designed posters; he worked on decor and props. He was his assistant on the shoot, during the editing, and when the sound and the music were being worked on. The importance of sound, he says, was something he learnt from Tati. And it was a unique apprenticeship, he declares. ”No film school in the world could have taught me in this way.”

Tati asked Pierre Etaix to suggest some poster projects regarding Mon Oncle. Tati, like we’re used to, did not give any indication. He did not communicate what he wished for.
The first design(s) showed very less of Hulot. He was ‘absent’ in the poster frame. Etaix second idea, which put Hulot into the spotlight and Gérard looking up to him, made Tati enthousiast.

This poster was designed with a whole series of Hulot portrayed as an 'iron wire’. Fifth stage of the Mon Oncle poster design.
('En quelques traits, Etaix avait trouvé la marque de M. Hulot, son enseigne graphique, pour ainsi dire son seing. Tati aimera beaucoup ce traitement, qui dotait son personnage d'une identité reconaissable et originale.’)

Read more about the different stages in the Mon Oncle poster creation in 'Etaix dessine Tati’. (2007, ACR)
The drawing above is mentioned at page 30.

Tati asked Pierre Etaix to suggest some poster projects regarding Mon Oncle. Tati, like we’re used to, did not give any indication. He did not communicate what he wished for.
The first design(s) showed very less of Hulot. He was ‘absent’ in the poster frame. Etaix second idea, which put Hulot into the spotlight and Gérard looking up to him, made Tati enthousiast.

Poster you see here: fourth stage of the Mon Oncle poster design. The dogs had disappeared when compared to the former design.

Read more about the different stages in the Mon Oncle poster creation in 'Etaix dessine Tati’. (2007, ACR)
The drawing above is mentioned at page 30.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

Novelisation by Jean-Claude Carrière & Illustrations Pierre Etaix

Abebooks

« J’avais fait un film. On en tirait un roman. Mes images allaient devenir des mots, mes séquences des phrases. Comment était-ce possible ? J’étais inquiet. Me voici rassuré. Et je peux dire que si j’avais voulu faire un livre des Vacances de M. Hulot, j’aurais aimé qu’il ressemblât à celui-ci. » -Jacques Tati-

Jean-Claude Carrière venait tout juste de publier son premier roman (Lézard, Robert Laffont, 1957) quand il a relevé le pari de transformer Les Vacances de M. Hulot et Mon Oncle en romans. Ce furent les premiers pas dans le cinéma d’un futur grand scénariste. Pierre Étaix, alors premier assistant de Jacques Tati, illustra les deux livres. Sa rencontre avec Jean-Claude Carrière sera le début d’une longue collaboration.