Jacques TatiDoha Film Institute (DFI), with the support of the French Embassy in Qatar and the Institut Français du Qatar, celebrates the legacy of French comedian-auteur Jacques Tati with a special showcase of films entitled ‘Master of Modern Comedy: Jacques Tati.’

Taking place in Qatar from Sunday 16 March to Saturday 22 March 2014 during the worldwide celebration of Francophone week, and as part of the Katara-Doha Film Institute Cinema Series, the Institute will showcase four films, through new digital restorations which are being shown in the Gulf region for the first time. The showcase includes Jour de fête (1949); M. Hulot’s Holiday (1954); Mon oncle (1958); and Playtime (1967). The four films will screen at the Katara Drama Theatre from 17 to 20 March 2014 at 7:30 pm.

Head of Film Programming at DFI, Ludmila Cvikova, said:

We are very proud to provide our audiences in Qatar the opportunity to experience the work of beloved French director Jacques Tati. He is a master of visual comedy whose meticulous approach to slapstick has been merrily celebrated for more than 50 years. Whether seeing Tati’s films for the first time, reliving cherished moments of humour, or introducing youngsters to some of the best comedy world cinema has to offer, I am certain our local audiences will find the Tati experience one to remember.’

Tati’s style of filmmaking was truly distinct and his films are considered timeless classics. He garnered global acclaim, with Mon oncle scooping the Cannes Jury Prize and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1958. Over the course of his career, Tati worked as an actor, writer, and director, and is best-known for his trademark slapstick comedy and his gentle critique of the modern world. HE Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the State of Qatar will attend the official opening of the showcase featuring Jour de fête on 17 March 2014.

HE Jean-Christophe Peaucelle said:

Jacques Tati is a cultural icon of France and his comedic critique of life in the modern world is as amusing and relevant today as it was when the films were made. I am delighted that local audiences will have the opportunity to experience the magic of Tati’s films on the big screen during the upcoming Semaine de la Francophonie and I look forward to sharing this piece of cinematic history with our Doha community.’

A special screening of Playtime will be presented exclusively for school students at 10 am on 20 March 2014 as part of the DFI’s ongoing year-round activities for young people in the community. Playtime takes place over the course of 24 hours, as M. Hulot meanders through the streets of a hyper-modern Paris, where he visits a trade show, engages with a group of economy-class American tourists, becomes hopelessly lost in the impenetrable maze of an office tower, and spends a crazy night in a fashionable restaurant.

Screening on 17 March 2014, Jour de fête was Tati’s first feature film and had its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in 1949. In it, Tati introduced several elements that are common throughout his work, including his immaculately choreographed slapstick and his distinctive use of sound and dialogue.

Tickets will be on sale from Monday 3 March 2014. Tickets for single screenings are QR35 per person, and QR25 per student. A special Tati ticket package is available for QR80 which grants the buyer one ticket to each of the four screenings in the series (available online and in person while supplies last).

For more information, visit DFI’s website. Organisers seeking information about bookings for school groups can contact [email protected].