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Playtime: CC - How is it?

Old 02-02-02, 11:50 AM
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Playtime: CC - How is it?

Was thinking about picking up Playtime: Criterion Collection and was wondering how the movie is (never seen it).

I've read many reviews about the DVD, and it's pretty decent - but I'd like some comments on the film.
Old 02-02-02, 05:19 PM
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If you like the other Tati's from Criterion you'll have to get this one. It's a little different, more introspective. Beautifully filmed in Paris, this is actually the one I will return to more frequently (and I love Mon Oncle and Jour de Fete) because there is more to it than meets the eye. There are long stretches where nothing seems to happen - I tried showing it to 3 friends and was voted down because they got bored too quickly. If you don't have the other 2 dvds I'd recommend Jour de Fete and Mon Oncle in that order before this one. You have to get into Tati to appreciate Playtime.
Old 02-02-02, 05:32 PM
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...the original ran almost 30 minutes longer than the (just-under-two-hours) version contained on the Criterion disc...

...M. Tati intended for this movie to be seen on huge screens - that's why it was originally released "to selected theatres" in 70mm copies (the film includes a lot of goings-on, set details, expressions on people's faces, etc. that are quite simply 'lost' when it is viewed casually on a small[ish] screen)...

...that's how I remember it ... dimly ...


. . . . . .
Old 02-03-02, 05:03 AM
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...did some more searching-on-the-internet and came up with this review: http://www.100.com/movie/Playtime.html

...I remembered correctly (insert sigh of relief)! not only was the movie shown in 70mm, it was actually filmed on wide-gauge stock (65mm)...

. . . . . .
Old 02-03-02, 07:02 AM
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The cafe sequence is probably the best directed, ever.

Regarding the running time, Here's what I got in cinefrance mailing list a few years ago (Thanks to William Macadams for the original post):

According to Michel Chion in his critical book on Tati (JACQUES TATI, Cahiers du cinéma, 1987), PLAYTIME, when it premiered at the Empire Cimena in Paris in December of 1967, ran 152 mins. But the film was criticized for its length so by mid-February of the following year Tati had cut it to 137 mins.
David Bellos (JACQUES TATI, Harvill Press [London], 1999): "Tati cut pieces out of the copies shown at the Empire, and then out of other copies, one by one. The general release version of PLAYTIME was thus a shorter film than what Tati had intended. A certain Mr. Lofthouse wrote from London, after the UK's premiere, to protest that he had not been able to see all that Tati had made. 'I can assure you,' Tati replied, 'that the negative of PLAYTIME being in my possession, I will have the opportunity to lengthen it by two minutes each year, which will not be noticeable at all, and will enable you, in five or six years, to view the film as I have imagined it.' Despite this assertion, the version re-released in 1977 did not restore the cuts made ten years earlier; nor did the new 35mm anamorphic print released in the early 1990s. About twenty minutes [actually 32 minutes] of the original film seem to have vanished.
"PLAYTIME is available in 16mm color, in wide-screen 35mm color, and in VHS video in France, Britain, and the USA. All versions available last 119 mins. It is rumored that a single 70mm print of the original 150 min. film is located in a Moscow film archive."

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