Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tats Entertainment.

Playtime (1967)
What a film.
I watched Playtime last night for the 1st time and I have fallen completely in love with it.
It looks beautiful and alien, Its all shades of grey and straight lines and has the same 60s futuristic feel as 2001.
Tativille is a world I want to live in.
It also really reminded me of Roy Andersson's Songs From The Second Floor (2000), which too transports you to a strange grey land.
Tati shot in 70mm and avoided close-ups so the audience could watch his world through a window, it engages you to discover the jokes which subtly play within this space. There is a nice running gag that all of the characters are completely completely enveloped within this ultra modern environment and the only glimpses of Paris we see (Eiffel Tower, Arch De Triumph, Basilica Of Sacre-Coeur) are reflections in the polished glass of the modern structures. This all plays towards Tati's view on globalization, People are on display in there own homes like shop dummies, People start speaking French then change to English half way through a sentence, All signs are in English, A travel agent shows posters for international destinations all with the same grey destination on them.
The film transports you from one location to another with only the slightest hint of a plot and we end up at the The Royal Garden a restaurant/club so new and happening that its not even finished yet. This club scene is a highlight of the film with smart gags coming one after another.
Initially I thought that the film was Tati's fear of the modern world and he felt lost until it came to the final scene which bought me close to tears, he finds such joy and excitement in the modern world and the film bursts into colour and life becomes a circus.
This is a charming and unique film that I would love to see on the big screen, Its such a pity that it was the film that bankrupted Tati and isn't regarded as his finest work.
Its his masterpiece.

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