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DCA Archive

Artist’s Choice Film Kate V Robertson: Playtime

For every exhibition in our galleries, we offer the artist the chance to choose a film to screen alongside their work. Kate V Robertson has chosen Jacques Tati’s Playtime to coincide with her exhibition, This Mess is Kept Afloat.

"I love the visual choreography and style of Tati's Playtime - with its coordinated and synchronised action. Stylish and slapstick, it beautifully accentuates the absurdity and pitfalls of modern urban life. I particularly like the use of windows, doors and screens as framing devices." Kate V Robertson

Considered by many to a masterpiece, Playtime a perfectly orchestrated city symphony, shot on 70 mm on a huge constructed set of concrete, glass and steel, was the most ambitious project Jacques Tati ever took on. Now diligently restored in-line with the filmmaker’s particular, perfectionist approach, audiences can once again enjoy the expansive scope of his comic vision. Monsieur Hulot has a job interview – but before he can worry about impressing his future employer, he’ll need to find them first. Landing in a reimagined modernist Paris, he has to navigate endless corridors, slippery floors, sinking chairs, sliding doors and misleading reflections in a high-tech corporate labyrinth where organised chaos reigns and Hulot sticks out as a misaligned cog in the machinery of modern life. Bumping into old war comrades and cute American tourist on the way, Hulot leaves the office block behind and finds himself the guest of honour at the opening of the Paris’ newest (and worst) restaurant – an eatery so fresh the builders haven’t even left yet!

France 1967 / 2h04m / French with English subtitles / PG