Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the... See full summary »
Monsieur Hulot has to contact an American official in Paris, but he gets lost in the maze of modern architecture which is filled with the latest technical gadgets. Caught in the tourist invasion, Hulot roams around Paris with a group of American tourists, causing chaos in his usual manner.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
As Playtime depended greatly on visual comedy and sound effects, Jacques Tati chose to shoot the film on the high-resolution 70 mm film format, together with a complicated (for its day) stereophonic soundtrack. See more »
The escalator handrails aren't moving in the fist department store scene. You can see the actors skimming their hands along, pretending it's moving when you can see by reflections of its surface, it is indeed not. See more »
The title isn't shown until the end of the opening credits. Additionally, there are no end credits. The final shot simply fades out and there is about a minute of exit music. See more »
First assembled cut ran 155 min. with intermission and exit music. This version was edited down by Tati himself to 124 minutes as a shorter film seemed more lucrative (Tati was in financial trouble because of the non-successful run of Mon Oncle and the long shooting of _Play Time (1967)_). It was released on 70 mm with 6-Track sound. In the US the film was released with a running time of 93 min. and 1-Track mono sound. Other versions ran between 108-120 min. and were released on 35 mm with 4-Track Stereo sound (quadraphonic). Over the years the 124 min. version became unavailable as the shorter versions were shown in wider circulation. In 2001 the film was restored and shown in its original 124 min. cut at Cannes Film Festival 2002. See more »
Peace in our time: the past and the future embrace
Where 'Mon oncle' was Tati's initial statement on the modern and its collision with the old, here in 'Playtime' he reaches his conclusion. They can unite - there is beauty in the new, as well. Yes, what is new and alienating now, will soon be the old familiar tradition. Everything changes, but the spirit of things remain.
This he manages to show in a series of beautiful scenes, brilliant observations, in a Paris which has been rebuilt to the extent, where the old Frenchman doesn't find his way around it, anymore, and the Eiffel tower can only be found in reflections on shiny glass or steel surfaces of modern buildings.
This is a film language all of its own, and driven to a razor sharp perfection. Through Tati's eyes, we can see exactly what he both worries about and marvels at, and of course we feel the same. The love he does in all his movies show for people, no matter how silly they might be, he also shows the city itself, and its megalomaniac constructions. It's all crazy, he tells us, but isn't it great fun, too? Yes, Jacques, it is, indeed.
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