“Playtime” is a 1967 French-Italian comedy film directed by Jacques Tati. The fourth feature-length film by Tati. 124 minutes.
An American tour group arrives at the Orly Airport, and goes sightseeing in Paris.
M. Hulot comes to Paris to interview for a job, but he misses the person in charge of the interview, and gets lost in a maze of the ultra-modern buildings covered with glass.
M. Hulot meets Barbara, a young American tourist in passing while straying around the city.
M. Hulot meets Barbara again at a just-opened restaurant “Le Royal Garden”, and there he gets involved in a chaotic mess all through the night.
In this film, Tati played Monsieur Hulot, a character who had appeared in his films, “Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot” (1953) and “Mon Oncle” (1958).
The film is an absurd comedy set in a futuristic Paris like a caricature of modernism symbolized by functionalistic modern architecture.
The film is strange like a dream, but it also includes a heartwarming episode about a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
The film is characterized by the heavy use of long/mid shots, its centerless screen structure (different people do something here and there on the screen, so the audience doesn’t know where to look), geometrically designed compositions, and beautiful colors.
Though the running time was originally 153 minutes, the 119-minute short version had been released for a long time. In the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, it was rereleased in a restored 124-minute version.