My complimentary Complete Tati box set arrived from Criterion! I promptly exploded it all over our crumbling floor and took a photo.
I have a little essay in the booklet, in the august company of James Quandt, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Kristin Ross. This may not be the chunkiest booklet I’ve ever featured in, but thanks to the art of David Merveille, it’s the one that feels most like an actual BOOK. Gorgeous. Tati’s longterm relationship with graphic artists like Lagrange and Etaix makes this the perfect way to go, design-wise. David Merveille is here.
Order yours! The distressed floorboards are not included, but you will be one giant step closer to being able to mock up the above image in your own home.
The essay can be read at Criterion’s website, here, if you’re not into the whole buying thing, but you would be missing unbelievably beautiful transfers of some of the most unbelievably beautiful films ever made, and some terrific extras. After reading the booklet in the bath — to my relief, the essay seemed to hold up, and I wasn’t saying the same stuff as everyone else — I looked at the openings of all three versions of JOUR DE FETE. Definitely the right choice to lead with the original b&w release. There’s a lovely doc about the restoration of the Thomson Colour version, though, a scientific-cinematic detective story. The negative appeared to be black & white, but somewhere in its photochemical makeup was the information to produce colour prints. A nice bit of filmmaking: when the detective finally manages to project a single frame with the colours of 1949 magically recovered, we faintly hear Jean Yatove’s unforgettable theme tune wafting in the distance…
My Tati video essay is here. An earlier Tati essay I did for Criterion is here. And if you’re not sick of the sound of me on this subject yet, I have a piece on Tati’s collaboration with painter-designer Jacques Lagrange in the new Sight & Sound. Voila!