June 28, 2006

Rocker From Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle


Jacques Tati's classic 1958 film, Mon Oncle, was a Keaton/Chaplin-esque comedy about the sterile perils of technology, modernity and consumerism and the decline of simpler, dirtier, slightly stupider, but ultimately happier good old days.

Tati plays Monsieur Hulot, a bumbling uncle who can't fit into the caricatured modern, suburban society of the Arpels [his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew Gerard.] In the film, the Arpel's beautiful but silly house look like the World's Fair Maison of Tomorrow, and the furniture and fixtures are all striking, but the whole point is that they're not comfortable or practical at all.

So naturally, you'd want them in your house, right? Right. The design studio of Domeau et Peres has collaborated with Les Films de Mon Oncle, the caretakers of the Tati legacy, to produce furniture from the film in exacting detail. Without any original props, notes or sketches, D&P worked from film stills to replicate two sofas and the yellow rocker shown above, then they issued them in a numbered edition of eight. I have no idea how much they cost, or if there are any still available, but if you're really interested, you should have your people call their people.

Tati, by Domeau et Peres [domeauperes.com, thanks to dt reader AgnesDad for the Tati inspiration]
Related: Buy the Criterion Collection edition of Mon Oncle on DVD, or read this NYT article about the premiere last year at MoMA of the newly restored English version, My Uncle

1 Comment

Wow. I hope this design firm has their tongues planted firmly in cheek. Otherwise this would be...recursive irony.

But yes, I would buy it. If only so I could put on my hat and raincoat and fidget in the Arpel's chair and wonder what the world is coming to...

(I ended up buying the Berchet kitchen set. Birthday two is coming soon and, as the other comment noted, short of big bucks, the alternative is "country" gone wrong...)

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