Just after May 68, Pierre Étaix discovers the French on holiday. He captures live scenes that he edits, producing then the first documentary with a burlesque construction. –Transilvania International Film Festival
Pierre Étaix (born 23 November 1928, Roanne, Loire) is a French clown, comedian and filmmaker. Étaix made a series of acclaimed short- and feature-length films in the 1960s, many of them co-written by influential screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. He has won an Academy Award.
As an actor, assistant director and gag writer, Étaix has worked with the likes of Jacques Tati, Robert Bresson, Nagisa Oshima, Otar Iosseliani and Jerry Lewis, who cast the comedian in his unreleased film The Day the Clown Cried.
Born and raised in Roanne, France, Pierre Étaix moved to Paris in 1954 to work as an illustrator and cabaret performer. He met the filmmaker and clown Jacques Tati, and began to help Tati work on the project that later became Mon Oncle, on which Étaix served as assistant director. Two years later, Étaix made his first short films: Rupture and Heureux Anniversaire; the latter won Étaix an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. The films also marked the first produced screenplays… read more
Drowning in footage (back when footage meant film), clown-turned-auteur Etaix opens his docucomedy by emerging from a cutting-room tangle of celluloid and leaving the studio -- only to be reswamped by falling film as he tries to drive away. Land of Milk and Honey operates in roughly the same way once it gets going: immersion in the frothing flotsam of post-'68 France is interspersed with gasps for air in which some satirical sense is suggested for it all. Its points re: sex, performance, selling, etc. are pat if pointed, but its interviews are fun, odd, and oddly touching reports from some time-frozen Arcadias.
As Pierre Etaix’s films finally get shown in the US, a look at Etaix’s illustrations for Jacques Tati and at the posters for his own films.