Pierre Etaix [DVD]

This release from Criterion brings together every film, both features and shorts, directed by the lesser-known French comedian Pierre Etaix, who specialized in the kind of physical comedy associated with more celebrated auteurs like Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton. Included are Rupture, Happy Anniversary, The Suitor, Yoyo, As Long As You've Got Your Health, Feeling Good, Le Grand Amour, and Land of Milk and Honey.
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Special Features

  • Disc one:
  • New digital masters of the 2010 restorations of Rupture, Happy Anniversary, and The Suitor
  • New video introductions to the films by director Pierre Etaix
  • Pierre Etaix, Un Destin Animé (2011), a portrait of the life and work of the director by his wife, Odile Etaix
  • New english subtitle translations
  • Disc two:
  • New digital masters of the 2010 restorations of Yoyo, As Long As You've Got Your Health, and Feeling Good
  • New video introductions to Yoyo and As Long As You've Got Your Health by Etaix
  • Disc three:
  • New digital masters of the 2010 restorations of Le Grand Amour and Land of Milk and Honey
  • New video introductions to the films by Etaix
  • Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by critic David Cairns


Heureux Anniversaire
Pays de Cocagne
This is a somewhat derisive documentary that examines French vacation habits and how the French make and respond to publicity. Among the items shown is an amateur singing contest. This is a French language film with no subtitles or dubbing. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Le Grand Amour
A young man nervously waits in a church on his wedding day. His daydream splashes time forward 10 years as he finds himself married and working for his father-in-law. He has a brief but profound affair with a new secretary before returning to his wife. His nocturnal dreams have his bed taking off like an automobile cruising to exotic locales with beautiful women. He passes other men in beds on their way to destinations they will only reach in their dreams. His wife expresses a desire for a vacation and her bed turns into a train in this film that relies heavily on symbolism. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Le Soupirant
The quest for love gets a farcical French treatment in this lighthearted romp, the sophomore directorial effort from writer and star Pierre Etaix. Etaix plays Pierre, a shy youth under pressure from his mother to find a nice girl and settle down. In order to appease her, Pierre proposes marriage to his family's Swedish student boarder, whose poor grasp of French leads to a misunderstanding. Believing that he has been rejected, Pierre commences trying to find the right woman for him. After an abortive assignation with a seductive one-night stand, Pierre becomes obsessed with a popular actress he spots on television. Collecting all the memorabilia he can find associated with the woman, the love-struck Pierre even buys an engagement ring, but when he tracks down the object of his affection, he is surprised to find that she is old enough to be his mother. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

This Tatiesque French comedy stars popular comedian/filmmaker Pierre Etaix as Yo Yo, a 1920s tycoon who, though surrounded by many fabulous things and though living in a grand old castle, is still unhappy for pining over his long-lost love, a beautiful circus performer. One day he sees her again. Soon afterward the stock-market crash destroys his financial state and, impoverished, he joins the circus. The two have a son who performs in the circus as a young clown. Later, their son becomes a famous movie star and uses his fortune to buy his father's former castle. By this time, though, his father has decided to remain with the circus, and soon the young man comes to a similar conclusion. The first part of the film is done as a silent picture, the second half with sound and occasional French dialogue. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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