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Criterion Coll: Playtime (Version française) [Import]

Jacques Tati , Barbara Dennek , Jacques Tati , Nicolas Ribowski    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.99
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Product Details

Product Description

Product Description

Jacques Tati, the choreographer of the charming, comical ballet that is Playtime, casts the endearingly clumsy Monsieur Hulot as the principal character wandering through modernist Paris. Amid the babble of English, French and German tourists, Hulot tries to reconcile the old-fashioned ways with the confusion of the encroaching age of technology.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing film and a fantastic dvd. April 14 2002
Playtime is comedy focused on detail. Many people find the film inaccessible because of its unconventional approach to storytelling. There _is_ a plot, and it is relatively straightforward, but the film is so removed from its dialogue (most of it isn't really audible, and is unsubtitled) that we must follow it visually. The film is also detached dramatically: There is so much going on within the frame that it can be difficult to know which events are connected to the main plot of the film, and which are connected to the rest of the film only thematically. Additionally, there are few occasions where the director guides our attention through close-ups, key lighting, or other conventional means. This means that the film is only likely to appeal to those who enjoy the comedy without the need for a conventional plot, or to those who look farther into the film (or both). Probably this is why the film was a commercial failure.
The film is visually dense: There are people wandering in and out of the frame constantly, and on many occasions there is more than one visual gag occurring at the same time. I doubt that there are any sections of the frame that are not used at some point in the film as a crucial element of some joke. Many of the jokes occur singly, and many of them are linked thematically to others throughout the scene, or throughout the film. Because of this, as a visual comedy this film is as close to music as I can imagine--at times it is acted out much like ballet (elements of synchronicity and counterpoint are common in this film). I don't know of any film that has this level of choreographed detail (not even Peter Greenaway).
The film is more than just style, however. All of its jokes exist under certain themes that run throughout the film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's going to be re-released! Oct. 10 2004
By A Customer
I haven't seen this movie for several years. I gave it four stars because I remember that I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two M. Hulot movies.
If you go to [...] click on "Out of Print", at the top of the page. When it comes up, scroll down the page and you'll see, on the left side, "Coming Back Soon" with a picture of the "Playtime" dvd!
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4.0 out of 5 stars another good release July 18 2004
By Ted
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
It is the 3rd film in a series of four. The 4th film in the series was not released onto DVD unfortunately.
This film follows Msr. Hulot again as he walks through the streets of Paris while he attempts to contact a US diplomat.
This flim, while not as good as the previous two still has good moments. The film gained popularity in many countries and remains popular today. The DVD includes an introduction by Terry Jones as well as one of Tati's short films, Cours du Soir, or Evening Classes.
The Criterion DVD remains out of print to date and prices are currently around $70. If you want this release, it is best to get it sooner rather than later as the prices will rise until it is, if ever, back in print.
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1.0 out of 5 stars two hours i am never getting back June 7 2004
By A Customer
What a horrendous experiment in comedy...if you like Jerry Lewis, I guess you'll love this travesty of a film. If you are a film snob, you will love it. Personally, as neither, I am grossly disappointed and just really didn't get "the joke." It was trite and dull....there was no point....the plot...technology encroaching on humanity....well, good try, but again not for me. If I am looking for a laugh, I will watch a good Coen brothers film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Aspect ratio vs. aspect ratio May 7 2004
By A Customer
I have not had the opportunity to see this film and ,sadly, it is now OOP (Out Of Print) from Criterion and the gougers of OOP's are licking their chops... However, this is in reference to "PUBWEBMASTER from LONDON" lambasting Criterion for what is claimed as a 4:3 aspect ratio transfer.
1. If you lookup this film at imdb.com and click on "TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS"
you will see that it was filmed in 1:85:1 aspect ratio
2. If you lookup this film at imdb.com and click on "DVD DETAILS"
you will notice it was TRANSFERRED at 1:85:1 aspect ratio ANAMORPHIC
CONCLUSION: Either believe the "PUBWEBMASTER from LONDON" or Criterion
ADVICE - don't support the GOUGERS!! - wait for Criterion to re-release this film
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! April 13 2004
This is the best example of Tati's experimental approach to humor. In fact it's sort of a cubist comedy with multiple layering of material and no discernible plot in any recognizable sense. Yet it works, it works well, and at no time will you feel it's aimless or merely episodic. Sounds a bit intellectual but this film is actually filled with endless great sight gags and some of the best slapstick you'll ever encounter. Keaton aside, this has two of the best "falls" in comedy. Also, the nightclub scene at the end is a masterpiece of timing and coordination. It reminds me of classic jazz improvisation. Like Keaton's "The General" this movie bombed when it was released but I'm betting it'll eventually be added to the list of great comedies of all time. Hopefully Criterion will re-release this soon and keep it in print.
Two caveats: I've noticed that people who expect comedies to be consistently manic and/or aren't accustomed to the slower pacing of many French films don't care much for this movie. It does require the focused attention of its audience to work. Also, the film was originally released in some oddball format that doesn't always translate effectively to the home screen. Because of this one major routine doesn't work quite as well as intended. It's not a major problem though.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Du grand Tati
J'ai vu ce film de Tati pendant la periode des Fetes 2003
a la tele de Radio-Canada. Pour moi,Jacques Tati est un grand
maitre du cinema.Il a un style bien particulier. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Benoit Proulx
5.0 out of 5 stars decorum comes alive
one of the first and finest of its genre, in which the decorum becomes a supporting character infusing life in this humorous and visual treat.
Published on June 24 2003 by takezo
3.0 out of 5 stars What are their criteria, exactly
I don't propose to write lengthing about Tati's masterpiece; I shall merely reiterate that Playtime is the 2001 of comedies. Read more
Published on June 1 2002 by S. Day
5.0 out of 5 stars Tati's masterpiece
Tati spent years working on this, the summa of all his comedic direction. PLAYTIME is a study of a day and night in an unrecognizable Paris, where modernist architecture have all... Read more
Published on April 21 2002 by Jay Dickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Hulot my hero
Nothing is what it really seems, it's much more absurd! And also humorous! This is a lovely film to watch and see and hear. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2001 by hovercraft
5.0 out of 5 stars anamorphic image does not seem cut off played on computer
In response to the comment ("tragic") below, I want to say that, when played back on the dvd drive on my pc, the movie doesn't seem to be cut off on the margin: the... Read more
Published on July 29 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing movie and an admirable transfer
OK, this is an amazing film. of course. every time i've seen it, either at home or in the theater, i have been completely captivated. Read more
Published on July 27 2001 by R. Williams
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