Saturday, December 31, 2011

Slam your doors in Golden Silence!

Well, I decided to end the year with quite possibly the most baffling movie I've ever seen, 1967's Play Time. I do consider myself basically obsessed with film, but this might've been more than I was looking for. I had read a glowing review of the striking imagery and overall cleverness of director Jacques Tati's "film." I thought I had to check it out. I don't think I would've made it alone, so I brought along/dragged my sister (the consummate team player) into it with me.

Since I'm typing this as my wife and in-laws are celebrating New Years (I'm stuffed and taking a breather), I'm going to keep the final entry of 2011 as brief as possible. I will say that I was really into the first twenty minutes and then....Well, then, things took a turn to the artistic. And by artistic, I mean mind-boggling Frenchiness.

Since there aren't any characters (let's be honest), no real story to follow or any important dialogue, let's just break down the decades-old French madness into bite-sized Truffles, oui?
I was still very excited and curious at this point.
  • I don't think there are any close-ups. Honestly, most people don't even need faces.
  • It's like a ballet at times, with people entering and exiting the frame in a slightly hypnotic rhythm. And just like being at a ballet, I started to glaze over and think of something stupid, like video games or kicking stuff.
  • The scene where we watch people living their lives in glass apartments was cool for the first 15 minutes. It's as interesting as it is just frickin' strange. I'm sure it gives film professors √©rections. Yes, I Googled that for authenticity.
  • The restaurant portion? I don't even know where to begin. It seems like it lasts forever.

    Monsieur Hulot can't catch a break.
    Look, I'm not a complete idiot. I actually really appreciate how Play Time is unlike anything else I've ever seen. That's cool. 
    The idea that we are more concerned with the future and progress than appreciating the accomplishments of the past was cleverly portrayed. And, there are some really genius gags sprinkled throughout. Just not enough. Supposedly, you'll discover more and more of them as you rewatch the film. Really? Pardon my French, but no f**king way that's going to happen.

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