REPORT RECEIVED FROM JACQUES TATI HOLOGRAM:
Monsieur Hulot is liking this period of Ancient Britain very much. It is like he has come here to enjoy himself. He wants to lap up the transformation from archaic to Roman invention and consumerism. He wants to relax and observe on the beach and swim in the sea. But everyone is against him because he is the only one here who seems to want to enjoy himself. It bothers the organization of the Roman businessman and confounds the native Britons who have bought into Romanization and have to organize themselves harder to stay on a level footing with their masters. It bothers the worker and it bothers the slave that Monsieur Hulot can be so happy. They’re oblivious to their toil as a worn cog in the mechanism.
They don’t like that they cannot lay a finger on Monsieur Hulot as he is a projection from long into the future visible in the shadows they have cast with the meticulous efficiency a movie director populates his picture.
Monsieur Hulot appreciates this fledgling consumerist society where he will not be asked to sell himself to promote a brand of chariot or designer sandals. For Monsieur Hulot is conscious that the people who view him regard him as their friend and he can’t be a man who tells them what beer to drink. His message needs to be untainted to be clear, to be understood. A friend does not tell you what beer to drink.
I’ve been here enough time now to form the opinion that the people will be in need of a sense of humour more now with the Romans imposing their consumerism and inventions and gadgetry than at any time before. For me, myself, I find that life isn’t so interesting. Before, a water carrier was a good or bad water carrier but now the Romans are arranging for water to be carried through pipes from the aqueduct to the villa. The good and bad water carriers are being driven to extinction. Before the Romans there would be the hapless water carrier, spilling drops in the street and cursing. Then they might slip, or a man who had the misfortune to be rained upon by the spilled water might push the carrier and the vase would fall and smash into a thousand pieces. Then the people would all turn in the street and have a little laugh and shout ‘ho, ho, Bravo!’
I want to convey my thoughts to Boudicca so she can comprehend that making history is better for the spirit than making the roads safer with her Ancient Grits, making them run efficiently so it is arranged for people so that the good or bad driver is eradicated and the humour suffers. I will make a moving picture that will capture my thoughts and concerns that the Celt is being subsumed by a Roman consumerism and materialism that she will be assisting by arranging easier transportation of goods in all weathers.
Already, Monsieur Hulot as a free man, has been targeted by the pushers of Roman consumerism.
‘Halo, sir,’ the man in the forum says to him, ‘would you like to buy this amphorae decorated with scenes from the plays of Aristophanes? It is excellent for storing olive oil or your favourite wine. It will make you laugh as sure as if the ghost of Aristophanes was in your house.’
Hulot thinks that this man in the forum is selling this item exactly the same way as it is being sold by its producers in Rome. He has been given a story to sell it. I tell him that he is as good at selling it as the men who make it in Rome are at selling the same thing. And he was very happy. He was complimented. But as I observe this I am sure that this was not his true personality. I feel sad. I find it sad because I feel sure that he won’t be like this in his own house.
The Celtic people are cultivated people at odds with the consumerism and culture the Romans impose upon them. Increasing numbers are daily won over by Romanization and buy into it. The way you have your haircut proves your character, your personality, but if you are obliged to have your haircut like everyone with Roman influence, then your character is swept away from the barber’s floor.
Things are so well made in the Roman manufacturing industry. The personality and individuality of the people making these items is a bit lost. What I feel for myself is that I hope I will always make mistakes. A man does not enjoy the chariot he drives until something goes wrong. Then when he repairs it, there is something of himself involved. Then he has a bond and he enjoys the rest of the ride.
Hulot has come to be from the observation of the people in the street. I am a little prisoner of Monsieur Hulot’s character. I am a prisoner of a man I like. Of course there is a bit of me in Hulot, but there is also a bit of all of you. I want the film to start when you leave the auditorium. The star is primarily the decor. I will have no film to shoot. Instead, I shall create a memorable set, bigger and more impressive even than Tativille, the set I created for my 1967 movie Playtime. I shall have constructed a whole town of Roman homes but compress them into one huge set. I have already started work on having these real homes created. There is no red tape, planning or building regulations to slow my progress. I have financed it via YesterPayPal which provides a list of treasure buried before AD 60 and subsequently found. Only it won’t be discovered now as I have called upon it. I am also doing a few gigs to make the Romans laugh and add more finance to this ambitious project.
This massive project has already caught the imagination of the people here. They are calling my new set Tativillas! The villas are well made, but when it is exhibited in performance there will be mistakes. I feel Monsieur Hulot will find them like the buried treasure. It is essential otherwise the individuality and personality of the people is a bit lost.
There will be small things in Tativillas that will go wrong. The water does not flow properly through the pipe to the home. I see a little man, very simple, comes to repair it in this territory of well made things. For me, myself, that is the moment life comes back. A human being is involved.
When Boudicca and the Britons see my living movie they will understand because I always defend the popular people. The conversation of the popular worker is always much more clever than the dialect you hear at dinner with the elite, where you will always hear the same sound, an international sound. Among the popular people you hear so little detail, so little observation and in a clever way. I would like them to see my picture to show them, in a little way, they are right.
Laughter arises from a certain fundamental absurdity. You won’t find another Chaplin. You won’t find another Keaton, because the school is closed. But here in the first century I am able to say that you will find Chaplin and Keaton but you will have to wait nearly two millennia to locate them.
REPORT ENDS HERE
At this juncture the History Maintenance Commission congratulated the Jacques Tati hologram and wished him well in his ploy to encourage Boudicca to rebel against the Romans and create carnage. Whereupon, the Commission received the following reply from Tati that caused consternation and the abandonment of the mission involving Monsieur Hulot and the aborting of his hologram:
The Second Jacques Tati Report:
I feel for myself, you are crazy. Do you think me mad? If I make Boudicca this warrior Queen bent on destruction she will destroy Tativillas!!!!!!
Non, non, non I will not be manipulated like the viewer of a television advert to do your crazy bidding. Monsieur Hulot is a free man. He ticks to the beat of his own free will. Non, non, non. Goodbye.
Jacques Tati Hologram aborted.
*Proof that the Jacques Tati hologram was about in AD 60 Britain is derived from newly discovered extracts in the work of the contemporary Roman Historian Cassius Dio
Cassius Dio in his Roman Histories LXII:
‘For at night there was heard to issue from the Senate House foreign jargon mingled with laughter, and from the theatre outcries and lamentations, though no mortal man had uttered the words or the groans.’ – Proof of the Tati hologram doing his gigs to warn extra money to fund Tativillas.
‘They require shade and covering….if any of these things fail them they perish.’ – This leaves little doubt that Tati had explained to the Romans how the projection of films work and how darkness is required for the film to be screened otherwise the images disappear.