Obsessed by his scientific research, a kindhearted young Parisian of good family suddenly gives up studying the stars at his parents’ insistence and sets out to find a wife. –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
Originally designed to be a series of short films inspired by Laurel and Hardy, Pierre Etaix's first feature is actually more of an homage to Buster Keaton, in which Etaix plays a stone faced young man seeking a wife in all the wrong places, while his true love is right under his nose all along. Etaix's use of sound as comedy is quite striking, and the resulting film is an inspired and charming slapstick romp.
Though I find it tad conservative (the icon rejected due to age, the near mute foreign princess type over the raucous dame) in its politics what's lovely about it is its exploration of depth & mise en scene: the camera pans: Etaix pops up inthe foreground, or that lovely last shot, or background vs foreground action etc. some of it so mesmerizing that its like a ballet in third dimensional depth perception!
It would be amazing if MUBI would make availabe all Pierre Étaix's films, this is clearly Étaix's year! If anyone could tell me where to find his movies online I would very much appreciate it, although I'm still hopeful that the box set that has been released by Arte will eventually be edited in my country :)
A look at the other work of Pierre Etaix’s favorite poster designer.
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.