Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 13 News List

FILM : Brave new cinematic worlds

Spot — Taipei Film House’s POP Cinema returns with retrospectives on Jacques Tati and Peter Brook

By Ho Yi and Martin Williams  /  STAFF REPORTERS

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In its latest POP Cinema program, Spot — Taipei Film House (光點—台北之家) is offering retrospectives on British theater and film director Peter Brook and French comedic filmmaker Jacques Tati in one festival entitled Body & Space.

Brook’s latest theatrical work, Warum Warum, will be staged at the Taipei National University of the Arts from Aug. 28 to Aug. 30, but before then the POP Cinema program features an essential list of the 84-year-old artist’s films and TV productions.

Brook’s lineup includes Moderato Cantabile (1960), based on Marguerite Duras’ novel of the same title and starring Jeanne Moreau and Jean-Paul Belmondo; a condensed version of the landmark TV production The Mahabharata (1989), which was adapted from the Indian epic of the same name; his excellent 1963 adaptation of Lord of the Flies; and the groundbreaking Marat/Sade (1967).

The Tati program includes his best-known films, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953), Mon Oncle (1958) and Playtime (1967), all of which star a timeless character, Hulot, whose clumsy and quixotic struggle with modern-day life is a hilarious commentary on the obsession with modernity and consumerism that prevailed in post-World War II France. Also included in the program are rarely screened Tati shorts dating back to the 1930s.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday introduces Hulot, a gauche, raincoat-wearing pipe-smoker who in Mon Oncle has a hard time adapting when he moves from rural France to his sister’s ultramodern house in the city. In Playtime, the most expensive of Tati’s movies (it was the biggest-budget film in French history when it was made and it nearly bankrupted its director), Hulot wanders through a cold, futuristic glass-and-steel Paris.

The festival will screen seven works from Tati’s oeuvre, three shorts and six feature films. All the copies are newly restored.

“There exist two worlds in each of his films: a world of the past and the arrival of a new one. The inability to fit in with the modern space is comically expressed through Tati’s bodily clumsiness,” curator Wang Pai-chang (王派彰) said.

Body & Space runs through Sept. 4 at Spot, from Sept. 8 to Sept. 13 at Taichung Wonderful Cinema (台中萬代福影城) and from Sept. 1 to Sept. 13 at Kaohsiung Municipal Film Archive (高雄市電影圖書館).

Tickets cost NT$170 for Spot members and NT$200 for non-members. Screenings in Taichung and Kaohsiung are free. On the Net: www.spot.org.tw.

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