Last week we discussed what market segmentation is. For this assignment I found an article that compares and contrasts what a good and
Is consumerism holding us back from progressing into a better future? Jacques Tati’s “Play Time” mocked modern day society advances such as how we travel with automobiles, our constant need to consume, and the distractions that come with the urban environment and technology. Tati believed that modernization wasn’t a horrible thing, so long as people don’t abuse it and use its advantages properly. Although Tati had actually embraced technology, which we can see with the tools he used to shoot the movie, but he also criticized it for “alienating” people.
We see this message still being relevant presently with many people complaining that our phones, tablets, and computers have become a distraction to people’s everyday lives and taken away our personal experiences. Technology users spend hours on social media, scrolling through their Instagram feeds and Facebook timelines trying to get the latest gossip or update their followers on their own personal lives. Sometimes we even ignore those who are with us physically in order to pay more attention to those with us digitally.
One advancement that Tati had satired that stood out was the idea of a tourist. Many travelers often go to a destination to see a glimpse of a new location that they may have heard of before. They hear about a romanticized version of their desired location and imagine going to exquisite eateries or taste testing in the wineries. However, they end up going to places that don’t properly represent the image of what life is really like in the local area.
One of the best images Tati conveys of a tourist is one woman who is constantly seen trying to take photos throughout her trip. Photography can be a difficult medium for artists sometimes because moments happen in a flash. Something can take place in as quick as a second, and if the photographer didn’t capture that image in time, the moment will never occur exactly the same again. This scene where we see the photo taking woman, she is seen at a flower stand and every time she gets ready to snap a picture someone gets in the way. She continuously tries to take the perfect picture and make every picture to her liking that she misses other activities going on. She is completely distracted with this desire for this perfection that she can show off to possibly friends and family she knows back home, which makes her completely unaware of what is going on around her such as the other ladies in the tour group she was holding up.
This is also pretty representative of today’s tourists as this type of situation has only worsened. Now we have cameras readily at our hands on our phones. How often do we see people trying to push their photos to the next level to show off to our network? People nowadays try to stage their photos, but then when they look back on it, they can’t appreciate their memories because there is not real story behind the pretty picture. Everyone is also so easily accessible that sometimes this idea of trying to share our experiences can make us lose focus to what really matters in life.
Because we are always trying to share our lives with those we connect with, everyone is constantly trying to compete with having the latest and newest trend. Tati also portrays this with the friend M. Hulot goes to visit. We don’t hear any talking, but we see this man trying to show Hulot is new projector and TV. Yet it is also hard to constantly try to keep up with all these advancements as it takes time for many of these advancements to become more universal. It can be so hard that we become lost in our own world.
Tati makes an apparent statement with “Playtime” about our incessant fascination with commodities. The film takes place for a considerable amount of time in a trade showroom where we see groups of tourists being practically herded by their travel guides through a maze of innovations as they “ooh” and “ah” at gadgets such as an electronic broom with headlights.
One of the more ridiculous items displayed in the showroom was a Greek style column trash can. We began to disguise something as disgusting as trash with a beautiful form such as a marble column, showing that we have no value for traditional pieces in the modern times. Tati also seems to question the use of many of our new inventions and highlights that sometimes even a good idea may have its own set of downfalls. This can be seen with the item with the slogan “slam your door in golden silence”. Ideally this sounds nice and peaceful. No more annoying loud door slamming. However, sometimes these ideas catch up with us as we see a manager angrily trying to make a point. As he becomes frustrated with the person he is trying to speak to he keeps trying to slam the door. We can actually see now why the door has now come to be a disadvantage as he couldn’t make a sound even though he was trying to convey his emotions as much as he could.
During the beginning of this film, the characters seemed so lost in this modern world as they all seemed to just be wandering around with no real sense of direction. Everyone just seemed to be going along with whatever had been crossing their paths. Modern life is so noisy with distractions that it is hard to really get a sense of which direction we should head in while living our life.
 M, Shiel, and T. Fitzmaurice. 2001: Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context. Malden MA: Blackwell.