Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Live Action Film for September 18, 2009

This Friday,

Film: Playtime
Director: Jacques Tati
Language: French/English
Runtime: 119 minutes

Venue: IDC Auditorium,
Time: 9:30 pm
Date: September 18, 2009


Tati's alter ego Hulot is off to make an appointment with an official in an office complex in Paris. Along with a group of American tourists who have come to discover Paris, Hulot roams around the city with his usual bag of mis-activities (much toned down from the other films though)!

Now, to create the mood:

Playtime is the most daring of all of Tati's films. At the time of it's release it was the most expensive in the history of French cinema. Tati was ambitious enough to put in all he had for the film creating an enormous set with more than a hundred construction workers and its own power plant. The film was shot on 70 mm and mostly had wide angle shots with exquisite details. However the film was a big fiasco at the theaters- first Tati didn't compromise for 35 mm theater release. Since theaters with 70 mm projection were few the fate of the film was clearly evident.

One of the other speculated reasons was the absence of the usual Hulot. Hulot was so popular in the 60s that people couldn't appreciate his considerable lack of mis-activity in the film. In addition, the film does not have a major plot- it revels in various audio visual gags (if I may call it!).

Critics' quotes:

"Playtime is a peculiar, mysterious, magical film."
-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

"One of Cinema's truly unique visions... animated with a new kind of screen life."
-Jake Euker, Filmcritic.com

"Jacques Tati's most brilliant film, a bracing reminder in this all-too-lazy era that films can occasionally achieve the status of art"
-Vincent Canby, New York Times

Winner: BEST EUROPEAN FILM, Bodil Awards, 1969
Winner: SILVER ST. GEORGE BEST FILM, Moscow International Film Festival, 1969.

Good reads:


Roger Ebert's Review:



Tomatometer Reading at Rotten tomatoes: 100%

imdb rating: 7.9

Now, the Trivia you all have been waiting for:

1. The set comprised of
    100 construction workers
    11,700 square feet of glass
    38,700 square feet of plastic
    31,500 square feet of timber
    486,000 square feet of concrete.
[data courtesy: imdb]

2. Many of the backgrounds in the film are actually giant photographs. This was done to reduce the production cost.
[courtesy: wikipedia]

3. Tati has a history of casting nonprofessional actors. Apart from him and Yves Barsacq (Hulot's acquaintance) the others are non professionals.

Personal comments:

This film is a MUST watch!

A short Clip from the film:

Who is Jacques Tati?


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