This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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…
I have mixed feelings towards Jacques Tati's Playtime. The first half is filled with plenty of hilarious and clever gags, being just a delightful adventure. Monsieur Hulot goes through a lot of confusing as well as unfortunate situations and he is one of those incredibly sympathetic characters you just can't help rooting for. Playtime is Tati's love letter to Paris and I liked how it deals with people's struggle with modern technology and the hectic life in the city. The second half of the film focuses on a busy night in a restaurant, which is surrounded by chaos and unforeseen events. It wasn't as interesting as the first portion for me and while it certainly contained a couple of excellent…
Welcome to Tativille
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…
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.
Audaciously grand and visually bewildering, Jacques Tati's Playtime made my eyes hurt. In this stunning accomplishment, Tati crafts a visionary and relentlessly detailed landscape and lets his camera loose. At points, the audience follows Monsieur Hulot, a confused and out-of-luck man whose goofy antics highlight the alienating structure around him. And yet, Playtime focuses more on the shifting interactions between people, drifting through modern towers and chaotic restaurants to illuminate the intricate stages of humanity.
However in spite of its majestic insanity, I can't say that I particularly enjoyed Playtime. Its humor, while brilliant and near-constant, wore thin within the first half-hour, and as a result, the entire film lagged at multiple moments. With no story keeping me emotionally invested, all I could think of during Tati's Playtime was how much I admired it.
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,…
Object lesson #1 on why foley work and production design are vital for great comedy. The gag with the slamming doors is perhaps the best example of how sound and production design come together to make a complexly structured joke into something spectacular. Also, surprisingly sweet ending.
Formally stunning in its scope (the restaurant scene is incredible), this is a fantastic film ostensibly about modern disconnect, not that it really has much of a plot to speak of. Most of the jokes are wry ones which require a lot of set-up and sometimes occur somewhere in the background, so the film rather demands the viewer pay attention. It's a radical film in its way, but a funny one, consistently inventive.
listen i couldnt tell u What the Hell this movie was abt bc i was falling asleep! i had to watch it for class and i was rly trying....
This was nominally a comedy and yet I only laughed twice. At the greek column bin and at some of the art installation at the restaurant stuff. And yet I sat totally enraptured throughout in dumbstruck admiration of the sound design, the set design, the use of colour, the camera. At someone walking down a very long corridor in slightly too loud shoes.
It's a Faberge egg of a film. Only a Faberge egg that is constantly in motion, overwhelming your brain as you try and take in the detail.
The final shot with the carousel roundabout was a thing of absolute beauty.
Film 84/100 on my 100 landmarks to watch in 2016
Rigidly organized chaos. Really did not expect to be tearing up at the end of this, of all films, but the transformation of modernism from cold and inhuman to completely natural and life-affirming is phenomenal. By the end you really do feel like you've spent all day and night with these characters. It's so completely rewarding as gags build on top of each other to a fever pitch of humor and cultural significance, and I'm looking forward to watching this again and again.
[English/ Spanish review]
A fellow Letterboxd reviewer wrote, rightfully, that Tati's comedies were not necessarily made for laughs. Playtime is a comedy, and I laughed at times. I smiled quite a lot of times. I felt puzzled and intrigued most of the time. And I allowed myself to be amazed at all times... At the pacing, at the variable densities of image composition (sometimes it's virtually impossible to grasp everything that's happening in one single, majestic shot). At the splendid use of depth of field (it would be a master lesson if only to explain what 70mm film can be used for), at utterances, at recurring characters, at sound effects taking the same level as images, at the geometries, at…
This film is utterly brilliant.
I would love to have seen this in the original format. The shots are just simply lavish and breath taking. Although the plot is minimal (if there is a plot) it's the scenery, the design, look and tone of the film that really takes your breath away as well has the scope and the size of the film.
I love the scenes at the restaurant, and the scene in the business.
Delicious set design. top 5 ever. Lack of narrative was issue during some of these sequences. Really wish "boisterous American businessman" really was actually Murray Hamilton (aka "plastics"/Jaws mayor/ Charlie Evans) instead of overweight lookalike. This is my problem. Great closing shot. Will watch again in a few years.
A list that, if nothing else, proves the day-to-day usefulness of applied statistics.
Between 2015 and 2016, a series of…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…