Saturday, December 25, 2010

Top Tati

Playtime: A wonderful movie about the essential inhumanity of modernism, which celebrates its destruction at the hands of simple human fallibility. Bear with me on this. Tati serves up a series of coldly beautiful Sixties Modernist cityscapes called "Paris"-- an airport, an office building, an exhibition centre, a block of flats, a restaurant-- and then into this throws a simple man in an overcoat, who manages to hurl whole systems into chaos simply by walking through the wrong door at the wrong time, and yet who also never quite manages to overcome the sheer weight of the surrounding bureaucracy. The screen is always relentlessly busy with action, and Tati never actually uses any of the conventional cinematic cues to "tell" you what you should be watching, so it can be difficult to realise what's actually going on in any scene until you figure it out for yourself. But then again, perhaps the sheer randomness of it all is the point.

Movie count for 2010: 127.