Pretty Packaging: Take A Look At The French JACQUES TATI BOXSET

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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(So ok, maybe I don't hate ALL mimes...)

There have been many famous French directors in the history of cinema, but few have been as universally loved as Jacques Tati. A former mime, his films are sight-based observational comedies, featuring long stretches without dialogue. Often you're just watching Jacques Tati himself, either as his famous Monsieur Hulot or as some other character, spectacularly failing to do something in a normal way.

Then again, watch a bit closer and you see him questioning what's normal anyway. Most of the time, any bumbling from the main characters results from the fact that the "normal" thing they try to do is actually pretty stupid already, maybe considered appropriate by modern society but hardly logical. Tati was one of the best slapstick artists on the planet, one who mixed a lot of social criticism in his stuntwork.

In France, distributor Universal Studio Canal Video now has released a boxset, containing Blu-rays of all Jacques Tati's feature films, and plenty of shorts and documentaries. The good news is that a similar boxset is planned for release in the United Kingdom as well, and all the Blu-rays are therefore in French and English. That's right: all discs have English menus, if so chosen, and even the extras have English subtitles.

The bad news, for some of us, is that all discs are region-coded "B", meaning they can only be played in Europe and Australia. For people wanting (or needing) region "A" discs, the only solace is that Criterion is rumored to be planning a similar set in the United States, but, well... so far, that remains just a rumor.

But for those in region "B" or who have a region free player, this is one fine set to own. And its packaging is gorgeous as well, so have a good rummage through the picture gallery below!

So this is the outer box. It's a big sturdy cardboard box, but... (next picture)

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Jacques TatiMon OncleMonsieur Hulot

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  • Hero To None

    I bought this in Paris then bought a 200 buck all region blu ray player to watch it. Excellent investment - I wonder if Criterion's set will be the same remasters?

  • Christopher Webster

    Pretty nice set. Playtime is in my top ten for sure. Criterion needs to put a set like this together.

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