Bristol Ideas: Tati Day

Bristol Ideas: Tati Day

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16 Narrow Quay



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Screenings of Mon Oncle (1958), Playtime (1967) and Trafic (1971).

About this event

Day pass to all three films: £20.00 full price / £15.00 concessions

Ticket for individual film: £8.50 full price / £6.00 concessions

Mon Oncle (1958): Film screening with introduction (U / France / 117 mins)


Slapstick prevails when Jacques Tati’s hero Monsieur Hulot is set loose in Villa Arpel, the geometric, oppressively ultramodern home of his brother-in-law in the suburbs of Paris.

Young Gérard Arpel is very fond of his gauche uncle and the children in his neighbourhood but his disapproving parents resolve to get Hulot a job or a wife. The disastrous outcome is a masterpiece of design and symmetry and of technically brilliant gags.

The heart-warming ending is true to Tati's vision of the modern world as a confusing place that is ultimately full of charm and humanity.

Jaques Tati's multi-award-winning third feature, Mon Oncle, is his first colour film and is a supremely amusing satire of mechanised living and consumer society that earned the director the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.

With specially recorded onscreen introduction from film historian and archivist Serge Bromberg.

Playtime (1967): Film screening with introduction and discussion (U / France / 124 mins)


Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with his 1967 film Playtime.

For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the lovably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a baffling modern Parisian world.

With every inch of its super wide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting record of a modern era tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

Introduced by Matthew Sweet (BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking). Following the screening, Sweet, Catherine Wheatley (King's College London) and Bristol Ideas director Andrew Kelly will discuss Tati’s legacy.

Trafic (1971): Film screening with introduction (PG / France / 96 mins)


Overlooked by many, Tati’s Trafic sees the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, kitted out as always with tan raincoat, beaten brown hat and umbrella, take to Paris’s highways and byways.

In this, his final outing, Hulot is employed as an auto company’s director of design, and accompanies his new product (a 'camping car’ outfitted with absurd gadgetry) to an auto show in Amsterdam. Naturally, the road there is paved with modern-age mishaps.

This late-career delight is a masterful demonstration of the comic genius’s expert timing and side-splitting knack for visual gags, and a bemused last look at technology run amok.

With an introduction from Catherine Wheatley, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London.

Tati Day is presented by Slapstick Festival, Bristol Ideas, South West Silents and Arnolfini.

Supported by the British Film Institute.

This programme is part of Opening Up the Magic Box, a heritage element of Film 2021 which marks the centenary of the death of Bristol-born film pioneer William Friese-Greene and the 125th anniversary of the first public cinema screening in Bristol, which took place at the Tivoli on 8 June 1896, as well as celebrating Bristol – a UNESCO City of Film since 2017. It is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Tati Day is also part of Future City Film Festival. The festival normally takes place every two years in the autumn but had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic. It will now run through 2022 as a series of special events. We are grateful to the British Film Institute for their support for the festival.

Day pass to all three films: £20.00 full price / £15.00 concessions

Ticket for individual film: £8.50 full price / £6.00 concessions

CONCESSIONS apply to Full Time Students, Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit claimants, over 60s and disabled people.

Please note that you will be asked of proof for your eligibility of a concession ticket.

One free carer ticket can be provided for each paying disabled visitor, please contact us before booking to arrange.


  • Within Arnolfini there are lifts to all floors and level access to all public spaces.
  • There are two designated Blue Badge parking spaces within easy reach of Arnolfini in the Mud Dock City Docks car park, accessed via The Grove Car Park. There are also five spaces in The Grove Car Park. Parking in the accessible blue badge spaces are free, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • There are toilets for public use.
  • Guide and assistance dogs are welcome.

If you have any accessibility requirements, please contact Arnolfini in advance so the team can assist you in your visit. More information about Arnolfini can be found here.

Please note we only refund tickets if the event is cancelled. Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Full Terms and Conditions here.

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