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…
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…
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.
Heretical confession: Though my first viewing was ideal—70mm on the giant Lumière screen at Cannes in 2002, right after its restoration—I think I enjoyed it more at home (on Blu-ray). Rather than feeling continually anxious about what I might be missing in a far corner of the screen (my own idiocy, admittedly), I was able to relax and allow my attention to be subtly directed, which made the first half much funnier. And even when the office-set stuff isn't hilarious, it's consistently awe-inspiring, particularly in the way that adjacent shots navigate the architecture; each new angle builds on the previous one, usually in a way that requires a brief but invigorating moment of visual recalibration. Until night falls, yes,…
If ever I were to finally make a Letterboxd list of perfect movies, this would definitely be on there. Seeing it in 70mm (and sitting in the third row), I realized just how masterfully Tati uses the entirety of the screen's space to create a fully realized world from fully artificial ingredients. This isn't TV-ready "storytelling," but genius-level sight gags and visual compositions on multiple planes and from all corners of the screen. See it on the biggest screen you can find if you're lucky enough to live near a showing.
imposible de ver de una sentada, tan rica y compleja es su puesta en escena: deep staging, blocking, juegos de reflejos, gags visuales en varios planos... uno tiene que trazar un plan para ver playtime: decidir en qué zona de la pantalla concentrar su atención –el maldito tati la puede dirigir a dos o más áreas al mismo tiempo. no se vale.
sentí al mismo tiempo pena y envidia por la gente que la vio cuando salió: pena porque no podían poner pausa para ver detalladamente un cuadro, respirarlo, repensarlo; envidia porque a esto es a lo que se refiere el lugar común de "el cine se ve mejor en el cine": una pantallota que le permite a uno encontrar…
A visual tour-de-force made by a mad genius. Indelible.
My first introduction to Jacques Tati, and what a way to kick it off. "Playtime" is easily one of the best, well-crafted films I have ever seen. It's exceptionally choreographed, meticulously shot, and has one of the most creative sound designs ever put to the big screen. Best of all though, Tati's message on how primitive human nature is being thwarted by overly-advanced technology and conformity to modernism, is so exquisitely communicated through the massive abundance of hilarious visual gags he uses to get it across. This a movie that is highly deserving of a lot of re-watches, because there's so much action going on in one frame, and I really hope that sometime I will get to witness it all transpire on the big screen.
It's a laugh! it's terrific.
I mean that. Not many masterpieces feel as coy and cack-handed as Jaques Tati's 1967 film Playtime. He manages to find humour entirely in the right places, and any gaps or absurdities are submerged into a vat of heart-felt loveliness.
There is something undeniably French about this film, perhaps it's portrayal of tourists the most - These hoover demons that spring at the chance for a broom with headlights, headlights!. Their overwhelming materialism and wonder is clearly the high reaching study of the film, but where it truly belongs, is in it's playtime. Tati, perhaps the last of the great slapstick cinema directors fills elaborate set pieces with shock, repetition equivalent to a Coen brothers…
Every time I watch "Playtime," I love it a little bit more.
A lot of the comedy of this film unfortunately doesn't work, but it is funny at least half of the time and its statement on forgetting old culture in favor of more modern design does work very well.
M. Hulot and I don't get along!
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most recent update - Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:42 PM EST
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that…