Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime, a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.
What a mess. What a beautiful fucking mess. Chaos and adventure reign. Nothing like a film that completely seduces you after a string of previous films failings that do naught to jolly your rodgers. I did not expect this magnetism. I did not lace my boots or put my tray table up in time. This is my first Jacques Tati film, poppin' cherries all over the place. With this ambitious paragon of hypnotism he goes straight to the top of the director to-do list. It is very sad to read of the debt and trials that he had to go through to get this made, and had to continue through for a decade after. I for one welcome our new…
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Now this is beyond what I expected after Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot - A cinematic marvel to be adored and respected and quite simply, a work of astounding genius. I think I really needed this extra level of Tati to really appreciate his art, and with it's colour presentation aiding me to escape my desire to compare him with the masters of the silent era. Filmed over 3 years, this ambitious vision of a world where modernity and technology obscures mans interaction with each other and everything is transparently artificial, Monsieur Hulot tries to navigate a Paris of steel lines and glass panes to share his heart with someone, anyone. From one ingeniously staged episode to…
For whatever reason, Playtime was in the same company for me as Sansho the Bailiff, The Earrings of Madame De..., and Persona as highly acclaimed films that carry with them a presence and intimidation. In hindsight, why a Tati film would come off as daunting sounds pretty ridiculous.
I had heard over the years it's use of architecture and setpieces as a main focal point, and that surely was the case. The entire screen was used to full effect, and was absolutely gorgeous on blu-ray. It's set in modern Paris, constructed from scratch, with plenty of steel, glass, and other symbols of alienation. The film wasn't so much about Tati's Monsieur Hulot as the camera is constantly viewing the landscapes…
I was shaving my legs while watching this film but it was such a fucking good movie that I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and now my legs still aren't shaved. I'm going to have a tough time making friends at the beach.
Playtime is like a Richard Scarry or Where's Wally? book in very elegant, moving form.
There is so much to take in, there are so many tiny events in every scene, that I don't for a minute doubt the other reviewers here who say how spectacular this film is on this big screen.
But no matter whether you see it on a TV or in the cinema, there is no equivalent of being able to stare at a huge illustration for ten minutes until you've taken it all in - at least not without substantially spoiling the experience of this as a film by endless freeze-framing.
Its feeling of so much happening, of almost too much going on in front…
Jacques Tati's 'Playtime' is a visual treat for the eyes and one of the densest films I have ever seen. It will undoubtedly take multiple watches to take it all in but for a 2 hour film with no true narrative this is a delightful watch. While I rarely found the visual gags to be laugh-out-loud funny, 'Playtime' is consistently amusing and uplifting. The different visual tricks are often highly inventive and Tati's ambitious vision of a modernised Paris is commendable. Tati uses sound to focus our attention on particular events in each scene but you could easily scan the background to find more in his film. Each scene is densely packed full of small visual treats.
The longer the…
Extremely impressive. It crippled Tati financially, but Playtime is a phenomenal achievement in humor, style, subtlety, spacial awareness, and on and on and on. Admittedly, the film starts out a bit slow. But there are humorous parts throughout - they are just subtle and hidden. Then the second half of the film kicks it up a notch with a restaurant that would give Gordon Ramsey nightmares on nightmares. The second part is hysterical, but still contains layers of hidden humor that only the astute viewer will notice.
2nd view, didn't have the luxury of a bigger screen or surround sound this time though.
Restaurant scene < everything else, but not so clearly inferior to me this time around. Such an insane undertaking and surreal sensory experience. If one of the greatest things cinema can do is open up new ways of seeing, this is one of its finest achievements.
Classic Tati: stylish, devious, playful humor with a disengaged look at life.
The most consistent use of a grey palette I've seen in a movie.
Jacques Tati's Playtime is a comedy of peerless originality, uniqueness, and magic. It approaches the concept of pure film. While most film comedies rely predominantly on dialogue and timing, anchored on character, in Tati's films the comedy is visual: The humor is about what's in the frame itself, how it is arranged, how it moves. But that does not come close to describing the impossible brilliance of Playtime, which uses the very architecture of the set to create sight gags. Coming off a string of massive successes, Tati went to great expense of time, money, and care to create an enormous reproduction of an airport terminal, in which almost every element of the building is used for comedic effect. This…
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction... - IMDB
For a film that essentially has no real underlying substance, this says a lot about the medium. Jacques Tati plays with sound and visuals in a way that is massively impressive, not only for now (sans CGI) but this was 1967!
There is so much happening on screen, that I'm looking forward to a re-watch just to catch a lot more of the background players. No sure when I'll get there, but I will.
For me, the champion of this film is the visuals. The fact that most of this looks like it is shot on a set makes it a lot more impressive to me.
Jacques Tati's magnum opus gets better on every single rewatch. There is no way that you can catch everything on a single viewing, and while this is the third time that I have seen this, it was pretty much like I saw it for the first time. Here are some observations that I had while rewatching it this time, provided in convenient list form.
There is a running gag throughout the film of characters dressed as M. Hulot (faux Hulots) which are meant to trick the viewer into thinking that it is M. Hulot. The beginning of the movie does this, and then when you least expect it Hulot appears. The result of this gag is that Playtime is pretty…
The amount of consideration on behalf of Tati and his set designers is enough to elevate this film to "masterpiece" status. Jacques Tati's Playtime is just that, its Tati's chance to play in a world of his creation. A satire of the modernization of cities across the globe, and the confusion caused by needless gadgetry and modern materials (glass is its own character in the film), Playtime is as fun as it is beautifully transfixing. Meticulous choreography went into every scene, and Tati's camera placement perfectly captures all of his hard work. Able to shoot from the interior or exterior, Tati opens up a range of possibilities in which to capture the endless comedy created by Mr. Hulot and his cohorts.
Épica. Grandeza cinematográfica en su máxima expresión.
Es mi primer Tati y me sorprendió la cantidad de simbolismo pero sin tomarlo muy en serio, siempre con sentido del humor. Además la puesta en escena es única y extremadamente compleja a tal punto que no es necesario diálogos, todo es una enorme coreografía moviéndose constantemente.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
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