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France 1967. Dir: Jacques Tati. 124 min. 35mm


INTRODUCED BY THE ARTIST / My interest in Playtime comes from its satirical perspective on architecture. I like to think that it is a film about architecture’s “revenge.” In the first part, the uniformity and perceived inhumanity of International Style architecture is identified in the complete confusion it causes for the protagonist, who cannot find or connect with the bureaucrat he is looking for because of the building’s unkind intervention. At an International Trade Fair, a group of American tourists are only allowed to peep at the historic city of Paris through reflections in portions of glass-curtain walls, which the monuments seem to literally slip off. When Hulot goes to meet a friend for an evening, he is confounded by the entrance to the apartment. He can see his friend and family from the street through the floor-to-ceiling window, but cannot figure out how to access them, and when he leaves, he cannot exit the main door. Finally, on the opening night of a chic restaurant, the room, furniture, food, and costumes literally self-destruct in front of us. The more ruinous the interior, the more fun for all. (VA)

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Vikky Alexander is one of Vancouver’s most acclaimed artists. Her work has been recognized in Canada and internationally in New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the United States. She is a leading practitioner in the field of photoconceptualism, but has also exhibited works of sculpture, collage, video, and installation. In her art, Alexander likes to situate the viewer within idealized spaces that reflect our aspirations and utopian desires. She lives in Vancouver and has been a professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Victoria since 1992.



"Jacques Tati's most brilliant film, a bracing reminder in this all-too-lazy era that films can occasionally achieve the status of art."

New York Times | full review

"My favorite movie ... Actor-director Jacques Tati has the most intricately designed mise en scene in all of cinema."

Jonathan Rosenbaum | full review