Jacques Tati was one of France's greatest screen comedians and through he made only a handful of features during the course of his career as an actor and director, they were major box office hits at home in France and attracted a significant audience around the world, establishing Tati as one of the most gifted auteurs to emerge from the comic genre. The Criterion Collection, well known for their intelligent and enthusiastic support of classic European cinema, have made most of Tati's features available on DVD in North America, and Trafic is the fourth major Tati work they've released so far. Trafic has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the image looks quite good, reproducing a bit of the natural grain of the original film elements but also capturing a natural and pleasing color balance, and the source elements are clean and in good shape. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, reproducing the film's original sound mix, and the fidelity is fine if not remarkable. The dialogue is primarily in French (with occasional passages in English and Dutch), with optional subtitles in English. In addition to the main feature, the first disc in this set also includes Trafic's original French theatrical trailer, an episode of the French television series Morceaux de Bravoure in which Tati talks about his work and shows off his estimable skills as a mime, and a French television interview with Trafic's supporting cast as they discuss their experiences working with the master. Disc two is devoted to In The Footsteps of M. Hulot, a two-part television documentary which follows Tati's career and the evolution of his best-known character, including clips from some of Tati's little-seen early short subject and a number of rare television appearances; the historical material in invaluable, though the quality of the film elements often leaves something to be desired. And the booklet includes an essay by Jonathan Romney on the making of Trafic and its place in Tati's body of work (and with admirable honesty he acknowledges that it's one of his lesser works). Trafic has been one of Tati's most elusive features in the United States, and this release not only makes it widely available but in a fine and well-curated edition; the movie isn't a classic in the manner of M. Hulot's Holiday or Mon Oncle, but it's still worth a look and this edition is easily its most impressive presentation on home video to date.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/15/2008
UPC: 0715515030328
Original Release: 1971
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:37:00

Special Features

Disc One: ; New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Interview from 1971 with the cast of Trafic, from the French television program Le Journal du Cinéme; "The Comedy of Jacques Tati," a 1973 episode of the French television program Morceaux de Bravoure; Theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; ; Disc Two: ; In the Footsteps of M. Hulot (1989), a two-part documentary by Sophie Tatischeff tracing the evolution of Tati's beloved alter ego

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jacques Tati Hulot
Maria Kimberly Maria
Marcel Fravel Truck Driver
Honore Bostel Managing Director of ALTRA
Tony Knappers Dutch Garage Proprietor
Franco Ressel Actor
Mario Zanuelli Actor
Francois Maisongrosse Francois

Technical Credits
Jacques Tati Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Alain Curvelier Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Dorfmann Producer
Charles Dumont Score Composer
Bernard Gérard Musical Direction/Supervision
Roberto Giandalla Asst. Director
Bert Haanstra Screenwriter
Jacques Lagrange Screenwriter
Maurice Laumain Editor
Sophie Tatischeff Editor
Eduard van der Enden Cinematographer
Anton VanMunster Cinematographer
Marcel Weiss Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Trafic
1. Logos/Opening Credits [3:12]
2. Preparations for the Show [1:28]
3. On to Amsterdam [7:40]
4. Running Late [8:01]
5. Still in Belgium [4:01]
6. Search for a Repairman [7:14]
7. Opening Day [3:18]
8. In Pursuit [1:49]
9. New Models [2:50]
10. Inspection [4:09]
11. Fully Loaded [9:08]
12. Taxi? [2:58]
13. Pileup [5:25]
14. Ride Home [3:15]
15. Mr. Fix-It [5:49]
16. Shoe Repair [3:06]
17. Good Boy! [8:53]
18. En Route [7:06]
19. Show's Over [4:02]
20. Rained Out [3:29]
Disc #2 -- In the Footsteps of M. Hulot
1. Early Inspiration [8:04]
2. First Films [14:36]
3. Birth of a Character [7:46]
4. Dialogue and Action [9:00]
5. Observing Characters [11:47]
1. Worldwide Success [8:33]
2. From the Music Hall to Playtime [13:43]
3. Music and Artistic Freedom [7:38]
4. "My Job Is to Watch You" [9:15]
5. Bringing Smiles [11:43]

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Trafic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago