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 Post subject: 112 Playtime
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:55 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:37 pm
Playtime

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Jacques Tati's gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with Playtime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

AVAILABLE IN DOUBLE-DVD OR BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITIONS:

- All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer (uncompressed stereo soundtrack on Blu-ray edition)
- Video introduction by writer, director, and performer Terry Jones
- Selected scene commentary by film historian Philip Kemp
- Au-delà de Playtime, a short documentary featuring archival behind-the-scenes footage from the set
- Tati Story, a short biographical film about Tati
- Jacques Tati in Monsieur Hulot’s Work, a 1976 BBC Omnibus program featuring Tati
- Rare audio interview with Tati from the U.S. debut of Playtime at the 1972 San Francisco International Film Festival (Courtesy of Pacifica Radio Archives)
- Video interview with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
- Cours du soir, a 1967 short film written by and starring Tati
- Alternate international soundtrack
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A new essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Original DVD:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



New DVD:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Blu-ray:
Criterionforum.org user rating averages



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:20 am 
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Probably the same restored 70mm print from France last year.
I wonder if they restored the original 6-track audio too.
I'm still surprised that so far all the DVD releases of Playtime have still been mono only.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:21 am 
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Dr. Mabuse wrote:
"Upcoming 35mm screenings of Playtime include those... in Edmonton, Alberta, from January 21 to 24; the Winnipeg Film Group, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from February 4 to 6..."

Nice to see it will be swinging through Canada, especially since I'll be able to catch it at my local Cinematheque.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:49 am 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
Dr. Mabuse wrote:
"Upcoming 35mm screenings of Playtime include those... in Edmonton, Alberta, from January 21 to 24; the Winnipeg Film Group, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from February 4 to 6..."

Nice to see it will be swinging through Canada, especially since I'll be able to catch it at my local Cinematheque.


Damn I wish it was playing in Toronto, this is one I would actually really like to see in the theater. I was indifferent to it the first time I watched it but it really grew on me afterwards and I think I would love it even more if I watched it in the theater. There's no way in hell I can make it to Winnipeg to see a movie. :(

I guess I'm going to have to wait to see it on the big screen until I'm making enough money and build my dream home theater system, which will be made up to look like an art house. But with La-Z-Boys and a really sweet sound system of course :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:01 pm 
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Actually played at Cinematheque on Oct 15th (35mm print)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:20 pm 
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Well, that'll friggin' teach me for not paying attention. #-o


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:56 pm 
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does this mean i have to fly to freezing cold edmonton for my birthday and visit one of my best friends to see this in 35mm? friends are great and all but i hate the cold. why oh why didn't i fly to san francisco to see this in the big old castro last summer? oh right, i'm an idiot.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:13 pm 
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This might be crass, and no offense to those dwelling in Toronto and Vancouver, but on behalf of my fellow Canadians who don't live in one of the Big 3 cities, I'm going to take this rare opportunity to say "Suck It!" to Toronto and Vancouver. This will bite just enough to help even up the score for all those big film festivals, early premieres, and re-releases you folks get, while I have to suffer through everyone in the 'Peg telling me how awesome 2 Fast 2 Furious is. Of course, this is all moot, considering the film did screen at Cinematheque Ontario, as well as the fact that I travel to Toronto 3-4 times a year and have really grown tire of the Prairies since I've lived in other cities. Sorry to vent - just working through some "inadequacy-of-municipality" issues.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:31 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
This might be crass, and no offense to those dwelling in Toronto and Vancouver, but on behalf of my fellow Canadians who don't live in one of the Big 3 cities, I'm going to take this rare opportunity to say "Suck It!" to Toronto and Vancouver. This will bite just enough to help even up the score for all those big film festivals, early premieres, and re-releases you folks get, while I have to suffer through everyone in the 'Peg telling me how awesome 2 Fast 2 Furious is. Of course, this is all moot, considering the film did screen at Cinematheque Ontario, as well as the fact that I travel to Toronto 3-4 times a year and have really grown tire of the Prairies since I've lived in other cities. Sorry to vent - just working through some "inadequacy-of-municipality" issues.


Typical attitude, you just live in the wrong place dude. If film is so important to you just move buddy.


Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:41 pm 
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flambeur wrote:
Typical attitude, you just live in the wrong place dude. If film is so important to you just move buddy.

Point taken. My comments were in jest, but you're pretty much right.


Last edited by Andre Jurieu on Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:41 pm 
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if i was stuck in winnipeg i'd be dying for the moment to say the same thing andre.


Last edited by ben d banana on Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:45 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
flambeur wrote:
Typical attitude, you just live in the wrong place dude. If film is so important to you just move buddy.

Point taken. My comments were in jest, but your pretty much right.


Are the mosquitos as bad as they say they are?

Sorry, nothing to do with Playtime..forgive me.

Cheers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:50 pm 
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flambeur wrote:
Are the mosquitos as bad as they say they are?

Aside from this past summer, when they fogged enough to cause cancer, they are usually much, much worse - especially in cabin country. Anyways, back to Playtime...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:54 pm 
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I was lucky enough to see this film once in LA and once at the Castro theater, both times in 70mm.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:06 pm
manicsounds wrote:
I wonder if they restored the original 6-track audio too.
The version that played in LA a while back was 70mm and they'd remastered the original discreet analog tracks to DTS. It looked and sounded spectacular; and, as I've said before, I doubt I will buy this on DVD because even the largest home monitors can't present this film in the detail that is neccessary in order to really appreciate it. It simply MUST be seen on the big screen in 70mm and with an audience. I'd previously only seen it on DVD and easily missed 1/2 the jokes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:00 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
This might be crass, and no offense to those dwelling in Toronto and Vancouver, but on behalf of my fellow Canadians who don't live in one of the Big 3 cities, I'm going to take this rare opportunity to say "Suck It!" to Toronto and Vancouver. This will bite just enough to help even up the score for all those big film festivals, early premieres, and re-releases you folks get, while I have to suffer through everyone in the 'Peg telling me how awesome 2 Fast 2 Furious is. Of course, this is all moot, considering the film did screen at Cinematheque Ontario, as well as the fact that I travel to Toronto 3-4 times a year and have really grown tire of the Prairies since I've lived in other cities. Sorry to vent - just working through some "inadequacy-of-municipality" issues.


Hey man, I feel your pain. I'm about 2 hours away from Toronto in a small hick town, so I can go, but it's rarely (but I would have made an effort for Playtime). And I know all about how hearing 2 Fast 2 Furious is the "coolest movie ever" Apparently Walking Tall is amazing, too, but I haven't checked it out yet. But then I guess I'm lucky enough to be close enough to Toronto. Still have to make an all day thing out of it.

BWilson wrote:
It simply MUST be seen on the big screen in 70mm and with an audience. I'd previously only seen it on DVD and easily missed 1/2 the jokes.


Yeah, this is exactly why I want to see it on the big screen. There's only a few movies I really want to see on the big screen and this is one of them because I know I'm missing a lot, especially since, to my understanding, the Criterion DVD is the wrong aspect ratio (I get my measurements mixed up, but the 70mm is the 2.35:1, 2.40:1 or so, isn't it?). As well there is just so much going on in this movie. I really missed out the first time and didn't really think much of the movie but repeat viewngs gave me a new appreciation of it and I'm positive the big screen will make me fall in love with it. It's really a crazy little movie.

And a DTS track, eh? Wow, now I really want to see it. I'd even pay big bucks to see it in a big Silver City theater. You think if Criterion re-releases it (which I'm sure they are) they'll include that track? I can imagine what the movie would sound like and I think it would be great. I've been holding off on rebuying their new editions of older DVDs (I'll get around to M one day), but I'd pick this guy up again real fast.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:37 am 
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I drove to the AFI Silver Theater in Maryland to see the restored 70mm print, and it was worth every moment of the six-hour round trip. The image is so vivid it's almost like seeing something in IMAX format. Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote something to the effect that the film has to be seen not only several times, but from several different points in the theater to be appreciated fully, and he's right. I've seen it on DVD as well as many times in the theater (including one previous 70mm screening in Chicago on a massive screen with a packed, enthusiastic house that was among the greatest movie-going experiences in my life) and I have to say that some of the film simply disappears when seen on video. DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to see this on a BIG screen.

Oh, and in case anyone missed DVDBeaver's comparison (which also handily explains what footage was restored, and is missing from the previous Criterion disc), the link is here.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:17 am 
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Faux Hulot wrote:
I drove to the AFI Silver Theater in Maryland to see the restored 70mm print, and it was worth every moment of the six-hour round trip.


Damn-when did you do that? I guess I missed out on that one; it's not showing there any more (and I'm just 45 minutes away) :x


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:11 am 
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jorencain wrote:
Damn-when did you do that? I guess I missed out on that one; it's not showing there any more (and I'm just 45 minutes away) :x


It showed for two weeks in February of this year. If I hadn't seen Au Hasard Balthazar at the AFI a couple of weeks earlier, I could say that seeing Playtime on the big screen was easily my best theater experience of the year - as it is I can only say that it was my best theater experience of the year.

Were you reading the forum back then? I posted the showtimes in the Playtime thread last January. I was particulary amused that people across the internet were going gaga over two screenings in two nights at the Egyptian in LA and it showed in Silver Spring for two weeks, four shows a day, and I found no enthusiasm on the web at all. Unfortunately DC is known for one thing only.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:16 pm 
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luxetnox wrote:
I was particulary amused that people across the internet were going gaga over two screenings in two nights at the Egyptian in LA and it showed in Silver Spring for two weeks, four shows a day, and I found no enthusiasm on the web at all.


I found it sad that only about fifteen people attended the AFI screening I saw. Playtime demands to seen with a receptive audience, it resonates on a whole diferent level when you hear spontaneous laughter from somewhere else in the theater, and you just know that someone caught some brilliant little moment, or the payoff to a gag that slipped by you. I had half a mind to go running out into the street dragging people in: "Don't you know what a masterpiece this is?! You may never have a chance to see it like this again!!"

I've taken to talking my friends out of ever seeing it on video (and yeah, the Criterion DVD was pretty disappointing). One friend had seen it on cable and found it incomprehensible, but a few years ago I convinced him to see a 70mm screening with some friends. Afterwards we all went out to dinner and talked about nothing but the movie for a good 90 minutes... when was the last time that happened?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:26 pm 
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You'll be glad to know that there was a long line when I went to see it at the Egyptian Theater (we had to sit in the back of the balcony to get seating), and even though it was playing at the Castro Theater for a whole week, I went to a late Wednesday night showing (one of the less popular showings, usually), and there were easily 100-200 people there (not even close to full, but a decent showing under the circumstances, nonetheless).


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:31 pm 
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Faux Hulot wrote:
I found it sad that only about fifteen people attended the AFI screening I saw.


There were 50-80 people in the audience at the screening that I went to, but I knew that that was likely a high mark. Chagrined would have been a better word choice for my previous post. Attending a performance with a full audience at the Egyptian must have been a great experience.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:44 pm 
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Quote:
Attending a performance with a full audience at the Egyptian must have been a great experience.


Unbeatable. Though I wouldn't have complained had I managed to get seats at the front of the balcony.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:00 am 
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Just saw the restored 70mm print in NYC and was floored (having never seen this before).

Two questions:

1) the film was shown without subtitles. I found this odd, since, though there is little dialogue, it's there and it contributes to the humor. Though I image it would be hard to subtitle some sequences in which French, German and English are being muddled together (most hilariously in the "Slam you Door in Golden Silence" sequence).

2) I noticed near the end of the film that a small portion of the image left and right did not make it onto the screen, but was blocked by the curtain. Is this normal? Did the projectioner know what s/he was doing?

Anyway, can't wait for the Criterion re-release. This is a masterwork like no other.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:51 am 
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denti alligator wrote:
I noticed near the end of the film that a small portion of the image left and right did not make it onto the screen, but was blocked by the curtain. Is this normal? Did the projectioner know what s/he was doing?

Yes. Playtime doesn't use the full width of the 70mm frame, so the print is pillarboxed. Check out the images here.


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