• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:January 12, 2018

Play Time

Director Jacques Tati’s greatest folly is primarily divided into two chapters; the first has Monsieur Hulot trying to make an appointment in a huge, ultramodern building made of glass and steel, and the second shows a hip Paris night club go from busy to chaotic. As usual, Tati makes his point early (one he’s made several times before) but still delivers a film that goes on for over two hours. However, one cant help but marvel at the complexity of all the parallel little skits taking place in every scene; this is astonishingly meticulous filmmaking. The steel and glass constructions are impressive, but Tati also cares about his flesh and blood characters.

1967-France. 124 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by¬†Bernard Maurice. Directed by¬†Jacques Tati. Screenplay: Jacques Tati, Jacques Lagrange. Cast: Jacques Tati (Monsieur Hulot), Barbara Dennek (Young tourist), Jacqueline Lecomte (Young tourist’s friend), Valerie Camille, Leon Doyen.

Trivia: Art Buchwald wrote the English dialogue. A huge set (dubbed “Tativille”) was built for the movie; those costs, added to the commercial failure of the film, eventually bankrupted Tati. Alternate running time: 155 min.

Last word: “‘Play Time’ will always be my last picture because of the dimension on the decor, regarding the people. There‚Äôs no star, no one person is important, everybody is; you are as important as I can be. It‚Äôs a democracy of gags and comics ‚ÄĒ the personality of people regarding an architecture that people have decided for us to live in, without asking us whether we agree or not. In the end, we all win in the sense that we still talk to each other; if anything goes wrong, we‚Äôre still partners, and some small people are still allowed to be important.” (Tati, Film Comment)

 

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