Playtime in Tativille

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We here at UnBeige HQ love us some Jacques Tati. We have ever since college, when we randomly decided to take in a screening of a new print of Mon Oncle. From there, it’s been a love affair. A lot’s being written lately with the release of the DVD of his greatest achievement, Playtime (which was also the film that ruined him), but BldgBlog’s got a nice little batch of stuff, a quick read, that sums up the whole endeavor, as well as a couple of great links and photos.

During pre-production, “Tati visited many factories and airports throughout Europe before his cinematographer Jean Badal came to the conclusion that he needed to build his own skyscraper. Which is exactly what he did.” In fact, he built Tativille: an entire city inhabited by no one but actors — who left after each day of filming. One estimate puts the total mass of built space and material at “11,700 square feet of glass, 38,700 square feet of plastic, 31,500 square feet of timber, and 486,000 square feet of concrete. Tativille had its own power plant and approach road, and building number one had its own working escalator.”