All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
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.
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…
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,…
If this were only pastiche it would probably be the example to prove the relevance of pastiches. I feel there is more to it when considering the pavement of technology above actual interpersonal interactions. Guys, I'm VERY stoned.
Visually breathtaking, yes, but due to its plotless nature and two hour runtime, it tends to drag. Another review on this site pointed out that the best moments are in the trailer, and I'm inclined to agree with that sentiment.
This is like the perfect daydream; drifting, delightful, and meaningful.
Playtime - 10/10
Wow. That was quite magical.
Playtime is perhaps the most well-made film of all-time. It's a confounding, hilarious, visually stunning, and comedic satire and celebration of modernization.
Playtime plays out much like a silent picture, it's dialogue is very bare, and is mostly irrelevant. That being said, the sound is very important, with a very fun soundtrack that is unforgettable and charming from it's ambient noise to it's musical track.
But of course, the real masterful feature at play here is the visual feast. Now, I'm not very keen on technical attributes or even really excited over it...Until now of course. Playtime's mise-en-scène is nothing short of "best ever". It's full of visual gags and such depth…
I'm amazed by the way Tati choreographed movement in this film, and especially how he utilized space. Reminded me of Wim Wenders' recent use of 3D, actually.
This essay on the way Akira Kurosawa stages scenes came to mind, too. Only where Kurosawa draws triangles, Jacques Tati builds pyramids.
So I'm up to the third film in which Tati is Monsieur Hulot. Here he goes to work and ends up wondering cluelessly around this high tech confusing world. It's very funny in a well-thought out intelligent way. It is perfect on a technical level and has amazing attention to detail and a grand scope, the full picture is always on screen with no close ups and it works. The film turns out to actually be very touching and a perfect piece of art. The most well made comedy film and it is beyond explanation really, you get it special and essential.
Playtime is about a man and woman in Paris. The film looks and sounds excellent. Each frame has something interesting. The commentary on modernity is dated. Stylized baffonary is still baffonary. Available on Netflix Baby-Blu, Playtime is an auteur requirement that may be skipped, but may be worth checking out as film study.
DVD Combo Pack: Airplane
Relevant for as long as there are people and buildings.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…