In the 1950s and 1960s, Jacques Tati created four films (essentially silent) starring himself as Monsieur Hulot (a kind of updated and inverted take on Charlie Chaplin’s The Tramp) who is commonly seen navigating in his lurching manner around a modern world made lonelier by technology.

Hulot

There was a time when The Criterion Collection had all of Tati’s Monsieur Hulot films in print. Alas, as happens periodically, some rights issues emerged a few years ago, the films were taken out of print, and I and many gave up hope that they’d ever come back. But then, there were exciting rumors that the Tati films would be back. When confirmation came, it was better than most had hoped: this week, not only are the Monsieur Hulot films that were put out of print returning to The Criterion Collection in new editions and restorations, but this is The Complete Jacques Tati, comprised of Tati’s six feature films and his seven short films.

Review copy courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

Review copy courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

The set is, predictably, loaded, including alternate versions of three of the films, as well as supplemental documentaries, visual essays, commentaries, interviews, etc. If you want to get to know Jacques Tati — and I’m excited to get to know him better — here you go.

These are the films included in the set:

The Mookse and the Gripes will be celebrating this release by going through the discs one by one. I hope some of you can join in.

First up, one that will be completely new to me: Jour de Fête.

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