The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
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 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…
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,…
Visually incredible and hilarious. Did drag on a bit towards the end, and there were some running scenes I didn't find too funny, but that didn't deplete my enjoyment too much. I'd love to watch this in a theater one day, I'm sure I missed a bunch of great jokes and details.
The first act is a masterpiece of both production design and writing and staging. This man is lost in this industrialized, globalized world, where everything looks the same and nothing is unique anymore. Greek columns are literally used as trash cans in the feeling that everything needs to be modern and sleek. There is no privacy. There is no personality. The scene where the two groups are watching TV next door to each other is absolutely incredible.
one of the most fun movies to look at
Try to imagine an urban planner, a graphic designer, and a mime getting together to write a comedy about city living. Then blow up the scale by, like, a thousand. That's this movie in a nutshell. Compositional and choreographic wizardry. Too dense for one viewing. Will revisit.
IT'S SO DENSE
Playtime may be the most fun I’ve had with a so called ‘Classic’ or older movie. It’s probably the best example of a film feeling like a painting in a museum (A living and breathing painting at that). Every single scene in this movie is composed beautifully and has so much going on that at times I’d rewind just to watch the same scene over again, but focus on a different part of the frame. Everything is in focus at all times, so your eyes tend to not be drawn to one particular person…but rather each scene is like a feast for the eyes where you can freely explore the beautiful frame from edge to edge and take in all…
I recently watched a video essay about composition in cinema.
That essay was front and center in my mind when I watched this film and I have to say that I was blown away by how this film relates it message and themes and ideas with space and structure of the contents of the screen.
I also read up a little about this film. Apparently they had to build a small city to film this in. The structures all either completely built for the film, or they were repurposed from existing structures. Either way, this production was a massive undertaking. The film uses a dull grey-scale color palate, with flashes of color that cue the viewer onto important pieces of…
Although not in my review, I love how the fancy-but-bland chairs make fart noises when characters sit on them. Tati gets it.
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All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…