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Life Imitates Art Imitates Architecture

Special screening of Jacques Tati’s 1967 masterpiece PLAY TIME to feature a post-show talk with NYC-based architect David Leven.

On Thursday, January 12 at 7 p.m., Film Streams, daOMA (design alliance OMAha) and Omaha Creative Institute will present a special screening and discussion of PLAY TIME, legendary French director Jacques Tati’s brilliant, painstakingly conceived comedy, with a post-show discussion featuring New York-based architect David Leven.

Released in 1966, PLAY TIME took almost three years to film, with Tati directing the construction of sprawling city-like set outside of Paris (nicknamed “Tativille”) with its own streetscapes and fully functioning high-rise buildings. The film is considered, along with Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS (1927) and BLADE RUNNER (1982), one of the most influential ever made in terms of its use of architecture to convey not just a sense of place but to invoke a feeling that permeates (and in the case of PLAY TIME, actually supercedes) the story.

Writing about the film in 2004, Roger Ebert compared Tati's PLAY TIME to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY for the originality and grandiosity of its vision. “Even Mr. Hulot, Tati's alter ego, seems to be wandering through it by accident. Instead of plot it has a cascade of incidents, instead of central characters it has a cast of hundreds, instead of being a comedy it is a wondrous act of observation. It occupies no genre and does not create a new one. It is a filmmaker showing us how his mind processes the world around him."

The screening of PLAY TIME will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 12 at Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater. Immediately following will be a discussion with Leven, whose Chelsea Penthouse Project was inspired by the film. Tickets for the event are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military and daOMA and Omaha Creative Institute Members, and $4.50 for Film Streams Members.

The special screening of PLAY TIME is part of Film Streams’ Community Development program and the latest in a series of collaborations between the Film Streams, daOMA and Omaha Creative Institute. In December 2009, the three organizations presented a screening and discussion of Gary Hustwit’s product-design documentary OBJECTIFIED. In November 2010, the groups presented a pair of films about the internationally renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, REM KOOLHAAS: A KIND OF ARCHITECT and KOOLHAAS HOUSELIFE, with a discussion (led by Omaha-based architect Jeff Day (Min|Day) in between.

The weekend before the January 12 screening of PLAY TIME, Omaha Creative Institute will present a two-hour “Introduction to French Language and Film” workshop. Julie Conway, the French “professeur” for Alliance Française d’Omaha, will lead the workshop which will be dedicated to the rich culture of French art and film. This special French class will focus on the vocabulary and conversations around French culture. For more information about the workshop, contact: Leigh Ellis at leigh@omahacreativeinstitute.org. For questions or more information about the January 12 screening of PLAY TIME, please contact Casey Logan at (402) 933-0259 or casey@filmstreams.org.

WHAT: Screening of PLAY TIME and post-show discussion with architect David Leven (LEVEN BETTS)
WHO: Presented by Film Streams, daOMA Omaha Creative Institute
WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey (formerly Webster) Street
TICKETS: $9 general, $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military, daOMA Members and Omaha Creative Institute Members, and $4.50 for Film Streams Members

MORE INFO & ADVANCE TICKETS: http://bit.ly/vjkwpQ
About the film: Legendary French director Jacques Tati's gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in the age of technology reached their creative apex with PLAY TIME. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the endearingly clumsy, resolutely old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a bafflingly modernist Paris. With every inch of its superwide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, PLAY TIME is a lasting testament to a modern age tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

About the Speaker: David Leven is a founding partner of Leven Betts Studio and an Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design. The work of Leven Betts has been recognized internationally through awards, exhibitions and publications, including Dwell, Metropolis, Frame, I.D., and Surface. Leven holds a Bachelor of Art from Colgate University and a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University, and he attended the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. He is a registered architect in New York and New Jersey.

daOMA (design alliance OMAha, Inc.) is a non-profit dedicated to public education and appreciation of architecture and the design arts. daOMA is about design in all forms and the education and community that perpetuate it. This is accomplished by fostering a continuing and challenging public discourse on the design disciplines and their relationship to our cities, workplace, and home. Rooted in the intellectual and social foundations of design culture, daOMA’s primary mission is to expand and grow design appreciation and awareness. Central to this mission is the organization’s core programs of public lectures and presentations featuring local, regional, and world renowned architects, designers, critics, historians and patrons. For more information, visit www.designallianceomaha.org.

Omaha Creative Institute is a cultural hub, providing leadership, unity, and educational opportunities for our creative community. For more information, visit www.omahacreativeinstitute.org.

Film Streams is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural environment of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. For more information,visit www.filmstreams.org.

Film Streams is grateful for the wonderful support of our members, individual donors, corporations, foundations, and government organizations who make our programming possible, including support from: Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Art Works.




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