Tit for Tati

 

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If you haven’t already, you’ve got to see Jacques Tati’s fourth and most complex, choreographically brilliant film, Playtime. You can actually see it here. But if you want a much better print go here.

Playtime is Tati’s most ambitious film. Shot in 1964 through 1967 and released in 1967, Playtime, features Tati as Monsieur Hulot, the hapless bumbler and jester from Mon OncleLes Vacances de Monsieur Hulot and the exquisite Trafic.

As stated in the liner notes for the excellent Criterion release:

“Hulot appears intermittently in Playtime, alternating between central and supporting roles. Shot in 70 mm, Playtime
is notable for its enormous set, which Tati had built specially for the
film [called Tativille, which almost bankrupt him], as well as his 
trademark use of subtle, yet complex visual comedy supported by creative
sound effects; dialogue is frequently reduced to the level of
background noise.”

The costumes are also vintage Mad Men.

 

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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