Close Up

13 February 2016: Playtime


Jacques Tati
1967 | 125 min | Colour | DCP

Playtime is a surreal, comic vision of mankind's battle against the overwhelming depersonalisation of modern life. Tati stars as the hapless Hulot, ambling through the massive metropolis specially constructed for the film. Playtime was his most ambitious work and is regarded by many as his masterpiece. Three years in the making, the film involved the construction, on the southeast outskirts of Paris, of a vast, futuristic set covering six acres – dubbed Tativille by the press, and much visited by tourists. Tati gently pokes fun at modern architecture, package tourism, and the self-defeating rituals of impersonal bureaucracy. He shows fascination with people's choreographed movements as they negotiate the modernist labyrinth, revealing unlooked-for lyricism within the most sterile of surroundings.

Part of our Jacques Tati retrospective