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.
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>
I comment 2 years after seeing "Playtime" at the Art Institute of Chicago, an event in which the film was presented in its original 70mm format for the first time since its debut. Over the years it had been cropped and recropped for standard prints and video leaving little of the original magic, which is the sheer SCOPE of this visual marvel.
Absolutely amazing sells "Play" short. The picture was so clear and the sequences so thrilling that I dare say this is Tati's Masterpiece. Apparently, he created an entire 1/5th scale city outside Paris and shot over the course of three years to get this honey in the can, and man-o-man, does it show.
This is the kind of film that reminds a viewer just how standardized modern cinematic narrative has become. Tati exists in an alternate plane of recorded consciousness; I walked out of "Play" as if hallucinating, having fully entered his perspective and adopted his suggestions as my own.
This is a film in balance with the nature of cinema itself; if Frank Lloyd Wright was a director, Tati would be his disciple: Tati's cinematic interpretations are in natural proportion to the distinctive elements of film. Visual dominance, sound hyperbarically in support of the image rhythm, help me I'm hallucinating again-thanks Jaques...
Don't miss this one, but don't see it in any other format than a special 70mm screening. Somebody put a screening together!!!
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