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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>
The only other movie I know that is as profound and beautiful and challenging as this is Tarkovsky's "Stalker." But "Playtime" may prove to be a better, more accessible example of what films can do. Tati so radically deconstructs space and depth within a film that it is almost unrecognisable: Spielberg doesn't have this level of craftsmanship, and not even Kubrick ever did. Virtually dialogue-free and spryly paced, "Playtime" works on nearly any possible level.
It can be seen as simply a superficial comedy, and as that, it succeeds because it is, well, very funny. (Modern technology is the golden cow that Tati playfully cuts down to size.) On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, is a work that stands the art of film on its head, commenting wryly on the nature of human beings, culminating to a party in a restaurant that gets completely out of hand. It's so beautiful.
Words really don't do justice to this movie. One last thing: The big screen is the ideal medium to see this film; that's true of every film, but this one more than most others. Unfortunately, I haven't had this privelege, and if you don't either, rent it anyway. It's too good to be missed.
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