Jacques Tati was a French director and actor who was renowned for his comic films portraying people in conflict with the modern world. He was born in 1907, an indifferent student who stood out in sports that includes horse riding and tennis. In 1923, at the age of 16, he left school and took an apprenticeship in the family business. He made his entertainment debut in 1935, when he performed at the gala of a newspaper. His performance was noteworthy and as a result he was offered an opportunity at the Theatre-Michel by Max Trebor, who was among the audience that evening.
In 1946, Tati founded the production company Cady-Films with Fred Orain, which would produce the first three films of Tati. His first major film “Jour de fête”, which was shot in 1947, was released in London and subsequently in Paris in 1949, where it became a great commercial success. The success led to him winning the 1950 Le Grand Prix du Cinéma Français. The intention of the film was to be the first French feature shot in colour. In 1953, his second film “Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot” was released. The film was critically praised and for which Tati achieved an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film still remains one of the most loved French films of that period. In 1958, Tati released his first colour film titled “Mon Oncle”. The film quickly garnered international success, winning that year's Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film. Tati's next film “Play Time” is considered as his masterpiece by many. The film was shot in 70mm, which was the most ambitious yet risky work in the career of Tati. At the time of the making, the film was one of the most expensive one in French film history. He made his last film in 1973, for a Swedish television.
Tati was voted the 46th greatest director of all time in a poll conducted by Entertainment Weekly of the Greatest Movie Directors. He has directed only six feature films in his career, making him the one who directed the least on the list of fifty. In August 2012, the British Film Institute voted Tati's “Playtime” 42nd in the list of “The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time”.
Due to serious health problems, Jacques Tati passed away on Novermber 4, 1982.