With their montage of found footage of audiences, Müller and Girardet shape a captivating dramatic arc. It contains condensed suspense with highs, lows, hesitations, peaks, tension and humour; it´s all a bit uncanny, since our imagination can read fathoms deep into the faces.
Play takes a look at the audience, studying the frequency, types and volume of applause in theatre auditoriums, concert halls and cinemas. As the applause swells and ebbs, Müller and Girardet appraise the many dramatic stereotypes employed in these situations (the meaningful exchange of glances; voyeurism; the emphasis upon the reaction of the individual in the crowd; expectation, excitement, unrest in the auditorium). In resorting to the beautiful clichés of cinematic entertainment, Play contemplates film itself: the uniformity of (theatrical) space and (coagulating) time, the perspectives that dominate film history throughout the western world.
Play is a montage of found footage of audiences in which the onscreen action can only be seen reflected in the facial expressions and gestures of the audience. In edited sequences of analogous reactions, individual behaviour condenses into collective behaviour. The event is transferred from the stage to the hall; audience members become the actors in an unpredictable drama.