Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion. —The Criterion Collection
Filmmaker and actor Jacques Tati reinvented the art of slapstick comedy, expertly dissecting the nature of sight gags and pratfalls while exploiting viewer expectations to create an ambitious, richly detailed cinematic parlor game perfect for exploring the infinite mysteries of the modern world. Born Jacques Tatischeff October 9, 1908, in Le Pecq, France; Tati mounted his first film short, the comedy Oscar, Champion du Tennis, in 1931, but never saw the project through to its completion. His subsequent early work, including 1934’s On Demande une Brute, 1935’s Gai Dimanche, and 1936’s Soigne ton Gauche, presaged his later features in their fascination with natural and mechanical sounds. The outbreak of World War II, which he spent stationed in the village of Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre, brought Tati’s career to a temporary halt, and after completing the 1938 short Retour à la terre, he did not appear before the camera again prior to Claude Autant… read more
A symphony of the city. "Playtime" begins with a view of the corporate world that is infused with a Kafka-esque level of absurdity. Over the course of its runtime, the film subtlety shifts into what I feel could even be called a celebration of city life - finding laughter in this very absurdity as well as meaning in the (slightly drunken) random connections that we make. I usually favor movies with a more prominent narrative. but by the time that hilarious restaurant setpiece had rolled around I was won over by Jacques Tati's charm. I think I'd be hard-pressed to name a comedy with superior mise-en-scene. And Criterion's Blu-ray transfer is a real stunner.
A Japanese La jetée and more posters from our sidebar Tumblr, Movie Poster of the Day.
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"The Museum of Modern Art's retrospective of the French screenwriter, director, and actor Jacques Tati (born Jacques Tatischeff, 1907–1982
Country: France, Italy
Language: French, English
Director: Jacques Tati
Art Buchwald… read review
Um estudo minucioso e minimalista sobre a sociedade moderna do antes e do agora.
Uma comédia moderna em forma de sátira, que tanto bebe da Nouvelle Vague de Godard… read review
I really liked this one. No close-ups, no insert shots, no plot, little dialogue…..just a meandering look at modern life in a soul-less, bland city that, as the travel posters in the film show us… read review