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Jacques Tati: Frame by Frame was Harding's third biography set against the backdrop of early 20th century French theatre.
Reviews of Jacques Tati: Frame by Frame
'...will please his many admirers and should interest that other half of the world the author calls Tatiphobes.' Philip French, The Observer

The book
Jacques Tati (1907 - 1982) made only five major films, yet each of them is a classic.  With Monsieur Hulot and François the Postman, he created two of the cinema's immortal comic characters.  Not only does Harding's biography contain many fresh and fascinating insights into Tati the film-maker and creator of Hulot; it also draws on the memories of family and friends to chronicle the hitherto little-known music-hall years and to show how Tati evolved into a clown of genius.  Tati was a ferociously independent artist who endured isolation and bankruptcy for his ideals, but he was also - as Harding's sensitive biography delightfully shows - a person of engaging warmth and humanity.  This study of the man and his work enables us, at the same time, to look at him and to look at the world through his eyes.      
The man
Jacques Tati, born Jacques Tatischeff, grew up in relative comfort near Saint-Germain-en-Laye on the outskirts of Paris.  An unusual blend of influences produced this unique actor and film director.  From his Dutch grandfather, who framed pictures for van Gogh, Tati inherited his craftsmanlike instinct, while his Russian grandfather passed on to him the Slav melancholy that flavoured his personality.  Tati was a perfectionist who lavished infinite care on every detail of his films and who was prepared to spend up to six years on a single picture.  His art was based on rigorous observation and he would wander the streets of Paris studying people to detect the mannerism that revealed character.  He tended to use non-professional actors in order to give his films greater realism, a realism that was further enhanced by his artful use of the soundtrack.