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>
Production took place from October 1964 to October 1967. Filming began in April 1965 primarily on a set dubbed "Tativille", where 100 construction workers built two buildings using 11,700 square feet of glass, 38,700 square feet of plastic, 31,500 square feet of timber, and 486,000 square feet of concrete. See more »
In the store Hulot takes the elevator up several floors, but he is then seen looking down from the 2nd to 1st floor, with traffic visible at street level. 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 Playtime). 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 »
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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