It's quite rare, then, that a filmmaker should pitch a no-hitter, from start to finish. Over the next week and a half, we'll highlight ten who did exactly that. For sanity's sake we are grading on a slight curve: fiction feature filmmakers only. Their documentary work (if any) won't t count, nor will their one- or two-reel shorts, TV episodes, or "etc" work.
|Jour de fête (1949)|
Tati destroyed his career with a multi-million dollar disaster that forever divorced his popular persona (expressed on the screen with the iconic M. Hulot) from his uncompromising, idiosyncratic vision. His final two features would consist of a crowd-pleasing nod to the paying public's desire for Hulot to remain on the screen as much as possible, and a highly personal, but virtually unseen, experimental video that combined a live circus spectacle with a completely fabricated one. In America, his name would be mud – Cimino, Verhoeven, Harlin – and while he was alive, he never redeemed himself in the eyes of the accountants. History has been much kinder, and that disaster (Play Time) is now considered one of the pinnacles both of cinema as art and entertainment, and it's only the capstone of (an admittedly sparse) career that has no downers: from Jour de fêtethrough Parade, every film of Tati's is an unqualified masterpiece.
Introduce yourself to Tati with: M. Hulot's Holiday
Master Class: Play Time, Mon Oncle, Jour de fête, Trafic
Deep Cuts: Parade
|Play Time (1967)|