Jacques Tati
Playtime (1967)

“The images are designed so that after you see the picture two or three times, it’s no longer my film, it starts to be your film. You recognize the people, you know them, and you don’t even know who directed the picture. It’s not a film you sign like Fellini’s Roma. Playtime is nobody. I don’t say that it’s easy to do. The dimension of the camera is the dimension of what your eyes see; I don’t come close up or make tracking shots to show you what a good director I am. I want your eyes to put you in such a situation where you come to the opening of the restaurant, as though you were there that night”  Tati

[Quote and more about Playtime here]

“The critics and the public wanted the pathos of M. Hulot’s Holiday and Mon oncle. They got Playtime, a comedy entirely devoted to space, in which Tati, as Hulot, hovers at the periphery of his own creation and has the elegance, which very few comedians share, not to put the spotlight on his own mug. The public and the critics turned against Tati. They were of course wrong, and the film is one of those few that get better by the year. It’s a silent film with sound; its color scheme is in a narrow band between gray and blue that aggressively underscores the painterly logic of Tati’s conceit. The film gives itself the luxury to reinvent choreography and as such dazzles with the megalomania of its enterprise and the diabolical precision the filmmaker had to conjure up to pull it off. There is ultimately so much to see, so many discrete pockets of activities in such a large canvas, that Tati has ensured that his film can be revisited time and again and each time seem different and new. It is a monumental film, literally and figuratively, that in its humorous take on modernity retains a form of hope. Alienation, but alienation light, and still the hope that the strategic social planning of architects and designers has cracks and will allow folks to run for daylight for the reassertion of their humanity”

Jean-Pierre Gorin

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