Jacques Tati

PlayTime

PlayTime

Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PlayTime. 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.

Film Info

  • Jacques Tati
  • Italy, France
  • 1967
  • 124 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.78:1
  • English, German, French
  • Spine #112

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by actor and comedian Terry Jones
  • Three selected-scene commentaries, by film historian Philip Kemp, theater director Jérôme Deschamps, and Jacques Tati expert Stéphane Goudet
  • Like Home, a 2013 visual essay on PlayTime by Goudet
  • “Tativille,” a 1967 episode of the British television program Tempo International, featuring an interview with Tati from the set of PlayTime
  • Beyond “PlayTime,” a short 2002 documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the production
  • Interview from 2006 with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
  • Audio interview with Tati from the U.S. debut of PlayTime at the 1972 San Francisco Film Festival
  • Alternate English-language soundtrack
  • New English subtitle translation

Available In

Collector's Set

The Complete Jacques Tati

The Complete Jacques Tati

Blu-Ray Box Set

7 Discs

$99.96

Collector's Set

The Complete Jacques Tati

The Complete Jacques Tati

DVD Box Set

12 Discs

$99.96

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by actor and comedian Terry Jones
  • Three selected-scene commentaries, by film historian Philip Kemp, theater director Jérôme Deschamps, and Jacques Tati expert Stéphane Goudet
  • Like Home, a 2013 visual essay on PlayTime by Goudet
  • “Tativille,” a 1967 episode of the British television program Tempo International, featuring an interview with Tati from the set of PlayTime
  • Beyond “PlayTime,” a short 2002 documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the production
  • Interview from 2006 with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
  • Audio interview with Tati from the U.S. debut of PlayTime at the 1972 San Francisco Film Festival
  • Alternate English-language soundtrack
  • New English subtitle translation
PlayTime
Cast
Jacques Tati
Monsieur Hulot
Barbara Dennek
Young tourist
Georges Montant
Monsieur Giffard
France Rumilly
Woman selling eyeglasses
Reinhart Kolldehoff
German businessman
André Fouché
Restaurant manager
Billy Kearns
Mr. Schultz
Yves Barsacq
Hulot’s friend
Nicole Ray
Singer
Credits
Director
Jacques Tati
Cinematography
Jean Badal
Cinematography
Andréas Winding
Screenplay
Jacques Tati
Screenplay
Jacques Lagrange
English dialogue
Art Buchwald
Music
James Campbell
Music
Francis Lemarque
Editor
Gérard Pollicand
Production design
Eugène Roman
Sound
Jacques Maumont

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Tati’s witty visual comedy also functioned as satire of a rapidly modernizing postwar France.

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Jacques Tati: Composing in Sound and Image
Jacques Tati: Composing in Sound and Image

What you hear is as crucial—and as funny—as what you see in Tati’s films.

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Scatterbrained Angel: The Films of Jacques Tati
Scatterbrained Angel: The Films of Jacques Tati

Though he emerged from established stage and screen comedy traditions, Tati invented a completely new filmic language.

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Explore

Jacques Tati

Writer, Actor, Director

Jacques Tati
Jacques Tati

It’s rare for a director’s physical appearance to be as iconic as Jacques Tati’s is. Not just the writer and director of a series of beloved French comedies—including M. Hulot’s Holiday, Mon oncle, Playtime, and Trafic—but their star, Tati embodied the befuddled, eternally umbrella-carrying and trench-coated Monsieur Hulot, perennially unable to adjust to a rapidly modernizing world, with empathy and a delightful comic precision. The latter trait was undoubtedly due to his early career as a mime in French music halls; when he switched to film, he adapted his penchant for mute comedy not only to his character but also to his directing style. There’s very little audible dialogue in Tati’s films, and their spare use of sound contributes to the overall sense they create of a forbidding, contemporary world in which Hulot feels adrift and superfluous. Add Tati’s brilliant knack for composition, expertise at choreographing deadpan slapstick, and grandiose vision (his 70 mm Playtime, one of the most expensive French productions in history to that point, bankrupted him), and you’ve got one of the most enjoyable, singular oeuvres in film.