Playtime

Dir. Jacques Tati (1967). Tati's costly masterpiece was a box office flop whose failure put him into bankruptcy. The director again plays Monsieur Hulot, this time on the loose in an extraordinary monumental Paris decor, all steel and reflections and trompe l'oeil plate glass. The complex gags take place gracefully and simultaneously in a constantly mutating space, leaving the viewer's eyes free to wander around the frame at will—what one critic called "Tati's democracy." This great movie was meant to be shown in 70mm, and it doesn't look as if that will be the case at MOMA. But any chance to see it, even in 35mm, should be jumped at.
Fri., Dec. 18, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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