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Film of the Month: Playtime by Jacques Tati

playtime Introducing the Film of the month! Featuring movies that make a strong architectural statement. I recently saw French director Jacque Tati’s Playtime (1967) again and was reminded of what a splendid essay this film is on modern society. The architecture of Playtime becomes the star of the film. Dialogue becomes background noise and Tati spent more money on designing this fictional world than on professional actors. Through humor Playtime reveals the extraordinary elements of modern life. The main character, Mr. Hulot, played by Tati, represents the everyday man, blending into the fabric of the urban context.  One scene comes to mind – without ruining the film – Hulot and several similar looking men file on to this bus going home from work. Posing the question – are we all just clones of each other and cogs in the wheel? A couple days later I recall seeing three men returning sandwich in hand from their lunch break – dressed and groomed almost identically filing up an escalator.  It made me laugh and it became clear that while this movie was made in the 1960s, we see the same elements of conformity and other themes expressed in the film today. Rental is strongly encouraged.

Thanks Emmy for the idea!

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