Playtime by Jacques Tati

Today I watched ‘Playtime’ by Jacques Tati (1967) at the Whitecube in Bermondsey, which was part of their Film on Sunday programme.

In Playtime, characters get lost as they search for the romantic Paris of old, yet are lost in vast modern spaces. We are presented with a satirical view of modern city life, a glamourous, lustrous city – which is bound to grace the pages of the new PLAZA book! Playtime was filmed on a vast mobile set, known as `Tativille’, just outside Paris.

The film is structured in 6 sequences, linked by two characters who repeatedly meet one another in the course of one day: Barbara, an American tourist visiting Paris amongst a group composed  of middle-aged American women, and Monsieur Hulot, a confused Frenchman lost in the new modernity of Paris.

Paris is shown as a city designed purely for aesthetic power and modernity yet unsuitable for human habitation. The characters seem distracted by endless gadgets, sleek metallic furniture and glossy surfaces. Particularly enjoyable is the scene with the ancient greek inspired pedal bin.

Playtime - Jacques Tati - The Ancient Greek Pedal Bin

Playtime – Jacques Tati – The Ancient Greek Pedal Bin

Playtime Jacques Tati - Travel Agent

Playtime Jacques Tati – Travel Agent

Playtime - Jacques Tati

Playtime – Jacques Tati

Playtime - Jacques Tati - Cubicles

Playtime – Jacques Tati – Cubicles

Playtime - Nuns

Playtime – Nuns

 

Playtime - jacques Tati - Paris Orly Airport

Playtime – Jacques Tati – Paris Orly Airport

 

 

 

 

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