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  • Criterion Collection: Playtime [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Criterion Collection: Playtime [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

31 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: DVD-ROM
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G8NXZ0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,349 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

DVD region 1 US import of French title. Genre: comedy.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAME on 9 July 2007
Format: DVD
Why was Playtime a failure, sending Jacques Tati into bankruptcy and costing him control over his life's work of films? His previous film, My Uncle, had been a commercial and artistic success. M. Hulot's Holiday and Jour de Fete had gained Tati world-wide recognition and respect. He had become recognized as one of the few authentic geniuses of film.

Watch Playtime and I think you'll find the answer. Tati in his earlier films placed Hulot in situations where we could empathize with him. Hulot was an innocent. As we came to like him, we also came to like the people he encountered. Even with their pretensions and idiosyncrasies, we could see something of ourselves in them. Tati might be holding up a mirror for us to look in, but M. Hulot was such a gentle companion that we smiled as we recognized ourselves.

With Playtime, there is little Hulot. Instead, we have Tati's view on all sorts of social and cultural issues, from the sterility he saw in much of modern life to modern architecture, group behavior, impersonal offices, loneliness, boorishness and American tourists. We're observers, and our job is to share Tati's viewpoint. Hulot, now middle-aged, has become a minor player in the film. In his earlier movies, Tati was careful to give us small numbers of people with whom, along with Hulot, we could come to know. In My Uncle, for instance, it was essentially one family and one modern home, along with Hulot's own apartment and his neighbors. In M. Hulot's Holiday, it was a small seaside hotel and its guests. With Playtime, we have a large, impersonal office building, all glass and right angles, filled with people -- employees, visitors, exposition guests, customers.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Markham on 10 April 2005
Format: DVD
Misunderstood and occasionally unappreciated ever since its initial 1967 release, Tati's visionary masterpiece is now an undisputed classic. The hallucinatory, hypnotically strange modernist vision of a barely recognisable Paris is quite simply amazing. Hugely influential for its use of space, architecture and Tati's amazing ability to mine subtle observational humour out of literally 'nothing much going on', this visually beautiful film is a must for all film fans. It is also an object lesson to all aspiring filmmakers and critics alike on the use of sound in the cinema.

Tati show us how most definitely less is more, in visual and aural terms. He makes every single second of screen time count. This is incredibly difficult to achieve, yet Tati manages it all with effortless grace and dexterity, all the while charming and amusing us with the immortal Mr. Hulot's hilarious physical comedy. The French Buster Keaton? Why not; they both share an innate genius for visual and physical comedy, and the intuitive appreciation of cinematic space, which few directors, living or dead, ever fully understand. Whenever I see this movie I am reminded of Time Out's famous review of Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West (1968), which (I admit I am paraphrasing here) goes something like "The only critical tools you need are your eyes and ears: this is cinema!" How true and so apt of Playtime.

Tati's alter ego, the ever polite, angular Monsieur Hulot, is let loose on a Paris dominated by modern offices, pristine glass surfaces and scurrying, over-officious French nine-to-fivers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of the 1967 Jacques Tati classic “Play Time”. And at present (February 2014) this movie is available on BLU RAY in the States and elsewhere. But which issue do you buy in you live in the UK or Europe?

Unfortunately the desirable USA Criterion issue is REGION-A LOCKED.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the superbly presented and restored British Film Institute issue is REGION FREE – so will play on UK/EUROPEAN machines – and offers the bonus of both DVD and BLU in the same package.

Check you’re purchasing the right issue ‘before’ you buy...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Yovra on 1 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's been a long wait for a decent region 2 release of this movie by actor/director Tati. It's not is most accesible work (Les Vacances de monsieur Hulot/Mister Hulots Holiday is a better choice to get used to the subtle humour), but it's a timeless and very funny movie. I had to get used to the fact that much of the humour happens in the background, so it's quite rewarding to watch this movie more often. Decent extra's about Tati and the making of this movie make this a very good DVD. Bring on the other Tati masterworks!
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By technoguy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD
Like Keaton,Tati's claim to fame is based on his direction as much as on his acting. Indeed it could be said that the two came into conflict in his later career,his directorial skill and concern with elaborate mechanised set-pieces causing his output to be irregular and often working against his lanky,absent-minded quality as a clown. Mr.Hulot's Holiday(1953) remains one of the greatest silent comedies in cinema history(sound actually added after shooting,but it's contribution to the comic impact is minimal), and Tati's greatest achievement in that film is the way in which he manages to render a specifically social stereotype-the would-be sporting bourgeois on a seaside holiday-appealing to a much wider audience. Later films like Mon Oncle(1958) and Playtime(1968) have an almost mathematical precision in their comedy lay-out and a serious underlying theme:the decline of individuality in an age of mechanisation. He sacrificed with time his music-hall and circus performer act.

Playtime was 3 years in the making,involving the construction,on the south-eastern outskirts of Paris,of a vast futuristic set of 6 acres-dubbed `Tativille' by the press. Mr.Hulot now a ghost of a presence walking about in the background of many of the complex choreographed movements of people -in -general-scenes, all negotiating the modernist architectural labyrinth,spreading out the `democratic comedy' into a wider space.Mr Hulot is merely one character among many, not privileged with any dominant emphasis. We are invited to explore the space offered to us,presenting a whole screen in long-shot,allowing our gaze to roam picking up small comic elements or repeated gestures and patterns and shapes and movements.
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