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Brno experienced a building boom in the late s that reflected the growing confidence of… April 17, 2 comments 4. Attempting to meet a business associate, Hulot becomes lost in the labyrinth of office cubicles, in which the sole landmark is a centrally located telephone receptionist who further perplexes him by swivelling through degrees, so that each time he sees her, his internal map is altered. Spatial ambiguity and homogeneity between different spaces are also created by sounds design such as thegreen neon pharmacy sign in the drugstore. He was a dinosaur, a silent comedian trapped in a land of sound, a wandering poet drowning in a sea of science. Hulot spends the whole day going here, there, and everywhere trying to find the American with whom he has an appointment. The film is linked by two characters M hulot and Barbara who repeatedly meet one another in the course of one 24 hour day:

Tati wanted the film to be in color but look like it was filmed in black and white — an effect he had previously employed to some extent in Mon Oncle. This sequence is filmed entirely from the street, observing Hulot and other building residents through uncurtained floor-to-ceiling picture windows. I like to think of it as the life-affirming antithesis to Death In Venice, where everything is unruly, messy, misinterpreted and falling apart but that shows just how vital and alive everything is compared to Bogarde’s hermetically sealed except to the plague! Glass would seem to let us make connections, but here it only adds to the confusion with reflections that create the illusion of connection: Looking for a job, Monsieur Hulot has an appointment with Mr Giffard, in an ultramodern Paris city full of glass and steel. There is a sense of unformity within the apartments — similar furniture placed in similar ways — bringing into question modernity architecture and space once again. The hundreds of white-collared workers in the film seemed to be on a tight schedule and were always in a rush to get to their destination.

Monsieur Hulot goes to the Royal Garden opening party and meets Barbara while the whole restaurant falls apart. Life as a showroom — Tati uses these material items in his film to tie into our everyday life. Foreigners cannot be differentiated unless they speak. She demonstrates for us the attitude of tolerant enjoyment that we should adopt as Tati does toward the human foibles that he films for us.

PlayTime () | The Criterion Collection

Christ, I thought exactly the same when I watched it last week, but decided against posting. The theme of adapting to the built environment, rather than the built environment accommodating the occupants, is consistent throughout the film.

To avoid conscription to a work camp in Germany he took refuge in the unoccupied zone of France near the village of Sainte Severe sur Indre with his friend the scriptwriter Henri Marquet. I wonder how many folks jacues aren’t your classical cinephiles are buying Tati DVDs. Play Time was the victim of a backlash, largely based on the outsized expectations surrounding this popular artist whose desire for publicity was equalled by his supposedly arrogant need for privacy during the lengthy act of creation.

Playtime () – The Screening Room

Maybe it is just a personal response on my part having grown up in a society where urban alienation is a norm rather than a strange new occurrence as it might have been for Tati?


The film is linked by two characters M hulot and Barbara who repeatedly meet one another in the plzytime of one 24 hour day: As the characters in the restaurant scene begin to lose their normal social inhibitions and revel in the unraveling of their surroundings, Tati intensifies both color and lighting accordingly: Note also how each character is conveyed by their footwear and the way that walk, and how M.

There they mixed with all the great artists of the day and assumed their son would take over the business. The hotel room looks uncomfortably small and features a rectilinear bed that looks equally as uncomfortable as the chairs. He was a dinosaur, a silent comedian trapped in a land of sound, a wandering poet drowning in a sea of science.

The last long sequence in the film involves the opening night of a restaurant at which everything goes wrong, and the more it goes wrong, the more the customers are able to relax and enjoy themselves. Monsieur Hulot enters the Travel agency and crosses paths again with the American tourists.

The conformity which could playttime be found in the tourists, however, is accustomed to the office workers. Hulot buys a going-away gift for Barbara Barbara Dennek as she is about to leave Paris with her tour group. The llaytime of progress Tati opposed was rigid, unaccommodating, it elbowed out any way of life that did not fit its patterns: I’ve yet to meet a big Tati fan “in the wild,” so to speak, though I’ve heard they exist.

This leads shortly to a final cacophony of people, voices, movements, doors, objects, music, and accidents builds to a crescendo of the space being totally inhabited by people despite the designed features of the space and how they intend to control people flow, behaviour and usage — in other words: The tourist bus picks subtites Barbara and takes her, along with the other American tourist to the airport. City Symphonys aren’t really my bag to suubtitles with, but combine that with a three ring circus and I get worn out.

Eventually finding his way out of the office cubicle maze, Hulot stumbles into a Ideal Home exhibition in the adjacent building.

Playtime (1967)

Tati identifies playti,e lack of character and spirit of modern architecture, which becomes very clear with the design of the office buildings, displaying a very orthogonal and repetitive language in their overall shape, color and materials. Hulot thinking the man is near, while the guard and the audience can see how far away he is.

The image below shows the stranger getting so lost in deciphering the map that he mistakes the patterns of the grey marble wall as the map. Brno experienced a building boom in the late s that reflected the growing confidence of….

Close Menu Search Criterion Submit. And even if the city still contains city specific sights, because of tourism the historical character is reduced to a superficial iconic value. The tourists arrive, taking snapshots of office blocks while ignoring the historical Paris landmarks, which show up from time to time as ghostly reflections in highly polished windows. The history of Knoll is the history of modern design.

Play Time (1967) by Jacques Tati – A Comedy Film about Modernist Architecture

A series of synchronous gags then develop between the two adjoining rooms as we are led to read that there is an invisible wall between the two rooms — when in fact there is an actual wall. But as other figures appear, an army officer, a band of school children, then chimes sound, we realize that this is fact something more than a hospital.


When they finally emerge from the restaurant the next morning, the world is transformed around them.

I feel young inside, so I feel like a student when I start a new picture. After the success of Mon Oncle inJacques Tati had become fed up with Monsieur Hulot, his signature comic creation.

As Hulot leaves the Home expo, an old army buddy invites him around to his sparsely furnished, ultra-modern and glass-fronted, department store like apartment. For his new film, Tati needed a set as vast as the streamlined public buildings and roadways that were soon to change the face of Paris forever.

He believed that the modern world would become a consumerist society dominated by advertising, and so he arranged for product placement, the first in French films. Even though Corbusier wanted to make everything identical and function efficiently, Tati worried about the indiscriminate proliferation of modules everywhere, without concern for suitability, adaptability or the diminishing returns of repetition.

Individuals are the same, they dress the same, and act the same. Another poorly designed furniture item are the restaurant chairs used by the patrons to sit on at the dining tables. We then see a maid delivering her green evening dress in readiness to go to the eventful Royale restaurant opening later that night.

Not that I do it, but I think this is the perfect film to amp someone up for a night of Banksy-esque graffiti spraying! The sound track of the film is international: The dresses worn by the American women stand out from the neutrality of the crowd and setting, as does their attitude. The architecture and the set design creates the space for the parody, as the modern, crisp, structure presents order while the actions of the characters are unordered, creating the humor. People bang doors to mark their exit acoustically so as to rupture the silence of a space — yet here is an invention which circumvents that very usage.

The original version of the film besides being at least half an hour longer also used a stereophonic sound track to great effect. The owner of the silent door company turns up a few moments later, and his salesman complains about the man in a hat and raincoat carrying a pipe. The American tourists also are brought to the Ideal Home exhibition and upon entering Barbara catches a reflection of the Eiffel Tower on the glass door; she pauses, and looks back wistfully while the Paris of legend goes all but unnoticed.

The title of conductor seems more apt than director, for Tati oversees a veritable symphony of color, motion, and sound with virtuoso precision.

The final musical theme ironically comments on the choreographed movements of the tourists, the traffic flow, and the whole urban crowd control design principles which attempt to order and constrain social dynamics. She stands both for us and for Tati.