Play Time, 1967

The film Play Time, released in 1967, is an in-color French film. The dialogue primarily is through subtitles with some verbal audio occasionally occurring between the actors. This film is a comedy making fun of the modern world and globalization. Visually, glass things are predominantly featured in the movie; modern skyscraping buildings, sleek furniture, multilane roads. Along with the shiny images is the gleaming cast dressed to the hilt.

A common subject in Play Time is glass. Cinematically and comically, glass is featured throughout the film. For example, one scene takes place at a nice restaurant with glass doors. People are walking in and out and are enjoying themselves. People are dressed up in suites and dresses, dining and socializing in a restaurant. At one point during an evening of heavy traffic in the restaurant, man pulls the glass door too hard or too quickly and shatters the entire side. Bits and pieces of glass are all over the ground and swept up quickly by an employee of the restaurant. After that, the host working at the front door takes the big circular handle that was attached to the door and pretends as if the door was never shattered, opening and closing it for people walking in and out. This scene is comical because obviously the door is non-existent. The man’s calm, unaffected and nonchalant behavior is very funny.

Glass, glass, glass… it is everywhere in this film. Almost every building and door is made out of glass. The cinematic approach in filming the glass was with a focus on reflections. Set in France, there is a lot of beautiful buildings and monuments to film.  In one scene, a man is opening a glass door and almost had it fully opened until he looked and saw the Eiffel Tower in the reflection. The sight of the Eiffel Tower reflected perfectly clean, spotless door. This was a most creative way to capture such an image. Again, a situation very similar to the Eiffel Tower one occurs again, but this time with the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The best scene involving glass in the film is when a man is doing window cleaning. A man is wiping down a large window that is on a sort of swivel. While wiping down this window, facing the busy streets of Paris, the glass window begins to swing back and forth while being cleaned. As it is swinging, you see the reflection of the clouds and a reflection of a bus full of people on it. Glass swinging back and forth and seeing the reflection of the beautiful white clouds and the bus full of people truly gives off a stunning image.

In conclusion, this film from is from a comical, modern standpoint. Its crystal clear glass emphasis and cinematography give it a spotless if not impeccable grade for being an unusual and most enjoyable classic film.


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