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 fucking 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. This is my first Jacques Tati film, poppin' cherries all over the place. With this ambitious paragon he goes straight onto the director to-do list and flies right into the shortlist. 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 Tativille overlords. I was yawning and thinking of counting sheep before I watched…
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…
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,…
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.
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…
December Challenge 8 of 100
A very playful, lively picture in a very grey, almost lonely, world. I really didn't know what to make of this one for about the first 30 minutes. I'm still not quite sure I know what to do with it. In his review Ebert says "Perhaps you should see it as a preparation for seeing it; the first time won't quite work." That's pretty accurate. I think I'll watch some more Tati and then come back to this one at some point.
A funny, ambitious, chaotic comedy that explores its setting with great detail that it becomes a character of its own. I often get lost in cities when I'm on my own and Playtime captures the chaos of being in the CBD. It's a maze to which its actors and audience get lost in because of modern society's crazy and wild routines occurring around urban spaces, progressive technology and our need to stick it with bureaucracy, to keep on going and going for nothing. If movies were architecture, then this would be the Obelisk.
Clever visual gags abound. I like narrative, though, and found the end to be a bit of a drag.
Not sure what I just watched but it was something very unique. I don't know if there's another film like Playtime. What's hard to believe is that Tati built all of these sets for the film and then had them destroyed.
It might have been released a few years too late for its message to be properly heard but it doesn't feel dated watching it today.
A masterpiece that deserves to be seen by all who care about the cinema.
Poking fun at the ‘modern’ world, casting sly nudges at the pointlessness of automation and the generic nature of modern city architecture, Tati’s film is just about as playful as they come.
A cross between a serious intellectual exercise and (bizarrely) the broad pratfalls of Mr. Bean, Playtime’s elegant and striking, in spite of its overwhelming use of grey. There’s no strong narrative here (it’s ostensibly about how Tati’s Monsieur Hulot character is badgered and pushed around by a restless Paris) and the humorous focus is on gentle slapstick and wacky situations.
Not being a huge fan of silent physical comedy, I had the odd small chuckle at the well-choreographed pratting around, but it was the lovely aesthetics that were…
This French film directed by comic legend Jacques Tati is about a cold, hypermodernistic cityscape that is not quite able to repress the vivacity of the human spirit. Tati plays the unfailingly polite but accident-prone M. Hulot, who had appeared in the earlier films M. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle. Imagine a tall, gawky Mr. Bean and you're about ninety percent of the way there. Hulot has come to visit this futuristic Paris of glass and polished steel. There is also an American tour group who intercepts him at various points during the day.
It might be tempting to call the narrative "non-linear," but "non-existent" is probably a more apt label. Hulot is not even really the main character for…
Playtime is the reason movies were invented.
M. Hulot's third outing, albeit with a sad history associated with it, is something that is immensely inspirational while being subtly sarcastic. M. Hulot's introduction to the modern Paris is a gem of a journey as Tati takes the viewers for a roll. The scale of the movie is audacious, and Tati handles the scope so well. With not one frame missing the beat, (and with so much going on, it is a wonder how he achieved it) the movie is at the same time a study of urbanization and a comedy jewel. Tativille alone is a masterpiece, to think about it is like a dream, and though it broke Tati eventually, it shall always be remembered as a work…