All about Tati.
June 17, 2002 8:30 AM   Subscribe

All about Tati.
posted by Spoon (16 comments total)
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday is summer. Thanks, Spoon.
posted by rory at 8:45 AM on June 17, 2002

I love Tati much more than the next guy, but I have to admit that this presentation made me fell like Hulot, trapped in some modernistic nightmare. At first, I thought I was in heaven -- then I found I couldn't get the hell out of that flash. Am I missing the French world for "close" or "exit?"
posted by Faze at 8:52 AM on June 17, 2002

Wow. A brilliant evocation of the master's ambitious whimsy and (I couldn't get out of there either, Faze) charming, maddening pranksterism. I'm on a quest to see Playtime in 70mm before I die--truly a work that has to be screened to be enjoyed. Seeing it in its abbreviated 35mm is great, but watching the DVD is like looking at the Eiffel Tower only as reflected in a glass door. The man is genre unto himself.
posted by sj at 9:00 AM on June 17, 2002

alt-f4 for those at work [full screen flash site]
posted by Zebulun at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2002

Sj - I've seen Playtime twice in 70mm, but the sound system was you can't have everything. It's one of the greatest film-films ever made. Trafic still makes me laugh out loud, even though I've seen it at least a dozen times.

Tati was a genius - using a modern art to question modernity, taking cinema to its cinematic lengths, amusing himself as an onlooker and turning everything into curiosity and wonder.

Thanks Spoon - my browser froze on the intro but I'm that keen I'll be trying again.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:18 AM on June 17, 2002

When Tati died, I read an interesting piece that compared him to Kubrick in his need for total control (the traffic circle in "Playtime", for instance, was constructed on a back lot, just like Kubrick's Khe Sahn in "Full-Metal Jacket"). The comparison made a lot of sense to me. I would have added both Tati and Kubrick had an idiosyncratic sense of time. one that might be characterized as sloo-o-o-o-o-o-ow.
posted by Faze at 9:28 AM on June 17, 2002

Skip the Intro - It's never worked on my browser yet...
posted by Spoon at 9:30 AM on June 17, 2002

I think everything in Playtime was constructed on a backlot, which is why it cost (and lost) so much money.

I love all Tati, but Playtime is one of my all-time favourite movies. There's something about seeing it with an audience of other people who also find it funny (most people find Tati a bit head-scratching, sadly) that feels like discovering your own tribe.

I too would love to see it in 70mm. Wasn't there also an even longer original cut?

Whereas most people see him as railing against modernisation, I've always seen the theme of his films as no matter how much we try to pretend we have grown out of our messy ways of doing things, innate human chaos will always out - the garden party in Mon Oncle, the disintegrating restaurant in Playtime - and mess things up.

The site doesn't work for me, though, since it insists I don't have Flash (but I do, though possibly not in French).
posted by Grangousier at 10:35 AM on June 17, 2002

"my browser froze on the intro..."

"Skip the Intro - It's never worked on my browser yet..."

It's not really that it freezes, or isn't working per se. It simply isn't running. There isn't much to it, and it seems a bit processor intensive for what it is, but if you're interested in seeing it anyway, right-click on the blank Flash screen and choose Play.
posted by mikhail at 11:53 AM on June 17, 2002

The 70mm Playtime restoration was here in Chicago in 1996, before my time. The restored version, like the 35mm prints in circulation and the Criterion DVD transfer, are all from the shorter, international cut. There is supposedly a much longer edit (155 minutes?) but Jonathan Rosenbaum has said that it's all lost. Anybody else have info on that?

You folks may also be interested in some music to evoke those Tatian moments. Recommended!
posted by sj at 12:46 PM on June 17, 2002

There's the other Tati, too.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:54 PM on June 17, 2002

The first time I went to Paris, with a francophilia mostly borne of movies, I was very happy to see a chainstore sharing a name with the director of Playtime. Mo Nickels just recreated that moment for me.

Playtime is a great, great film.
posted by liam at 8:04 PM on June 17, 2002

You can also get this CD from Alapage in France, as I intend to do when I've finished my breakfast.
posted by Grangousier at 12:42 AM on June 18, 2002

sj: The 70mm Playtime restoration was here in Chicago in 1996, before my time.

Wow! I don't know anything about the ages of MeFi users but sj certainly must be the youngest! ;-)

During this year's Cannes Film Festival a lot of press appeared about Tati. Some films ("Trafic") made it to prime time on the ARTE channel and "Playtime" was discussed in depth. (Only link is to an extrait. The archived article will cost you.) Le Monde ran photos of the set of "Playtime" -- truly incredible. A 70 mm copy has been restored and, if I recall correctly, will be shown later this year to the public.

That set was amazing. The "skyscrapers" were built to appear much taller in the camera's perspective but were actually much shorter painted boxes.
posted by Dick Paris at 2:13 AM on June 18, 2002

sj certainly must be the youngest!

Wait... I'm the only five-year-old here? You really could have fooled me. I do enjoy my playtime.
posted by sj at 7:47 AM on June 18, 2002

Full screen flash "presentations", that crash my browser, make baby Jesus cry.
posted by bshort at 12:11 PM on June 18, 2002

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