When I was in architecture school at the University of Kentucky in the ’80s, our dean was Jose Oubrerie, who spent significant time working with Le Corbusier. So when I was a fledgling architect, modernity wasn’t something we laughed at; we worshipped at its altar.
That’s precisely why I find this film so hilarious.
Tati manages to create a film whose dialogue is largely a silent one, between the affable, bumbling Mr. Hulot and his equally baffling environment: modern architecture. As The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips eloquently puts it in his review:
“This one will forever divide audiences in the best possible way: despite the title, Tati’s sense of play takes on a graver tone, despairing of modern life and modern spaces yet reminding us that even here, in an impersonal dream city, there are glancing opportunities for poetry.”
I certainly won’t miss the opportunity to see Play Time on the big screen. (3 p.m. Feb. 20 and 6 p.m. Feb. 24, www.siskelfilmcenter.org)