Studs Terkel was a great fan of film, as evidenced by his many discussions with filmmakers, actors, and critics; and during his career he traveled to and recorded interviews in a variety of locations around the world.  Here in Chicago, as we celebrate Cinema/Chicago’s 50th Anniversary of the Chicago International Film Festival, it seems fitting to feature an interview that combines these two great passions of Studs Terkel.

In 1962 Terkel visited Paris; while there, he stopped at Jacques Tati’s Spectra Films for a conversation.  They discuss Tati’s film Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday), and also the nature of humor, the difference between popular and “art” films (is there one?), and humanity in the age of machines.

Terkel: Hulot was a composite of many of the – I was going to say frailties – but good frailties, the little flawed idiosyncrasies

Tati: Yes, yes

Terkel: that you find.

Tati: Yes, yes. But that’s why, what, you see, he tried to take, to go on in life with what is good and bad and difficulties, and it’s the same thing that in a picture. Maybe critic often say “that picture is not shot like this and like this,” I say in a professional way. But I think that those mistakes are, I like them, very much.

Terkel: Yes. ‘Cause the humanity is there, the fact that someone’s alive.

Tati: Yes, yes, yes.

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