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What I learned from Tati


Observations in the rain
Jean-Claude Carrière Film-maker
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At about 1.00pm, Tati and Etaix called me to go to lunch, inviting me for lunch. So I step down from the editing room, I'll come back to this later, we get out onto rue Dumont d'Urbville, and it was raining, I remember it well, it was raining. And I say, as if completely natural, I tell Tati and Etaix, 'It's funny how, when it rains cars slow down and pedestrians hurry'. And Tati looks at me, and says, 'You have noticed this? You... you have noticed this?' as if it were something that could connect us. And maybe that day... maybe that is why later he accepted me, initiated me and brought me in the studio, in his auditorium, he let me attend all the finishing touches for Mon Oncle. Maybe because of that small remark. But now, obviously everyone writes their own story their own way.

Vers une heure, Tati et Etaix m’ont appelé pour aller déjeuner, ils m’ont invité à déjeuner. Alors, je descends de la salle de montage, je vais d’ailleurs y revenir par la suite, j’étais fou de joie, inutile de le dire, on sort dans la rue Dumont d’Urville et il pleuvait, je me rappelle très bien, il pleuvait.  Et je dis, comme une chose tout à fait naturelle, je dis à Tati et Etaix: «C’est drôle, quand il pleut les voitures ralentissent et les passants accélèrent». Alors, Tati me regarde comme ca,  et il dit: «Vous avez remarqué ça, vous avez remarqué ça?» Comme si c’était déjà le signe de quelque chose qui pouvait nous rapprocher l’un et de l’autre. Et peut-être que ce jour-là,  c’est peut-être pour cela que par la suite il m’a accepté, il m’a initié, il m’a amené́ dans des studios, dans des auditorium, il m’a fait assister à tout le travail de finition de Mon Oncle. Peut-être à cause d’une toute petite remarque comme ca. Maintenant, chacun écrit l’histoire de sa vie à sa manière bien entendu.

French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (1931-2021) began his association with films aged 24 when he was selected by Jacques Tati to write for him. This early experience led to further contact with other film-makers, including Luis Buñuel with whom Carrière collaborated for many years. He wrote screenplays for films including Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie, Tin Drum and Danton.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Mon Oncle, Jacques Tati, Pierre Etaix

Duration: 1 minute, 6 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2010

Date story went live: 26 July 2010