A user’s guide to the modern world… according to Jacques Tati.
The films of comic genius Jacques Tati take us on a tour of modern life, pitting Monsieur Hulot against the cities, buildings, cars, trains, furniture and gadgets that define our era.
Playtime is French director Jacques Tati’s fourth major film, and generally considered to be his most daring film. It was shot from 1964 through 1967 and released in 1967.
Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis withPlayTime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the lovably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a baffling modern world, this time Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, PlayTime is a lasting record of a modern era tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.
To make the film, Tati built his own Paris. He and architect Eugène Roman created a mini-metropolis at Saint-Maurice, to the south-east of the capital. It was no ordinary film set: it contained two steel and concrete buildings, its own power plant, tarmacked streets and working traffic lights, plus several towering trompe l’oeil facades. Many factors contributed to the difficult two-year shoot, which began in October 1964: bad weather destroying part of the set, Tati’s perfectionism and tendency to reshoot, and financial problems that necessitated the prime minister, Georges Pompidou, intervening to rescue the production.
Date: Saturday 20th June
Venue: Cantor Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University
Time: Start 12.00noon-2.00pm
Tickets: FREE ADMISSION
Run Time: 123 minutes
Cantor Lecture Theatre. Cantor Building, Sheffield Hallam University 153 Arundel St, Sheffield, S1 2NT