Friday, January 15, 2010

Play time with Tati.

The first time I saw this film I couldn't wait to see it again, and before I knew it 7 years went by. Recently, it came to my hometown and was as fresh and wonderful as I remembered. Tati's creation of a sterile, cold and ultra-modern Paris nearly bankrupted him, but I like to think he felt it was worth it. The enormous set presents a conformist, industrial vision of the City of Light devoid of any originality or creativity. Office workers sit in boxes within boxes, all in perfectly aligned rows, the janitor stares blankly at immaculately clean floors, and families live in fully exposed apartments that more closely resemble shop windows than homes. It's a wonderful poke at the modern world and technology posing as progress. Play Time (1967) also happens to contain one of the best party scenes on film (think Holly Golightly's soiree x 10) and is delightfully brightened by Tati's popular character Monsieur Hulot--bumbling and struggling to make sense of it all. In the end, Tati leaves us with a congregation of buses and cars trapped in a roundabout. With nowhere to go they circle round and round and round.

1 comment:

Wayde said...

One of the most beautiful films ever made! And what a joy to see it on the big screen.