In one of the greatest auteur-driven films of all time, Jacques Tati’s 1967 PLAYTIME creates an alien yet familiar Paris where the stark, modernist buildings are devoid of art and replaced by consumer products for sale. As iconic holy fool Monsieur Hulot, Tati stumbles through the bustling streets and crowded cubicles of this uncanny Paris looking for his place or any semblance of human connection. Each set piece displays a complete mastery of cinematic mise-en-scène, precise slapstick comedy, and sobering commentary about the technology-driven and impersonal direction in which civilization is headed. To capture this maddening world, Tati opted to build enormous sets that famously skyrocketed the budget into the stratosphere, and the audience is all the better for it. Though the film lacks much meaningful dialogue, the laughs and ludicrous set pieces build so masterfully that the end result is an unforgettable, time-traveling hallucination of the banal. PLAYTIME will be presented at the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival on 35MM in celebration of our Sight and Sound 100 series.
CAST: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Georges Montant
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