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Pierre Etaix (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A French comedy master whose films went unseen for decades as a result of legal tangles, director-actor Pierre Etaix is a treasure the cinematic world has rediscovered and taken up with relish. His work can be placed in the spectrum of classic physical comedy with that of Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis, but it also stands alone. These films, influenced by Etaix's experiences as a circus acrobat and clown and by the silent film comedies he adored, are elegantly deadpan, but as an on-screen presence, Etaix radiates warmth. This collection includes all of his films, including five features, The Suitor (1962), Yoyo (1965), As Long as You've Got Your Health (1966), Le grand amour (1969), and Land of Milk and Honey (1971)—most of them collaborations with the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie)—and three shorts, Rupture (1961), the Oscar-winning Happy Anniversary (1962), and Feeling Good (1966). Not one of these is anything less than a bracing and witty delight.

Special Features

  • New digital restorations of all five features and three short films
  • New interview with director Pierre Etaix
  • New video introductions by Etaix to seven of the films
  • Pierre Etaix, un destin anime (2010), a portrait of the life and work of Etaix
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Cairns

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Pierre Etaix
    • Directors: Pierre Etaix
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: French
    • Subtitles: English, French
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated:
      Unrated
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
    • Run Time: 413 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00B2BYXQI
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,359 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

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    Top Customer Reviews

    Criterion has done it again...I want to personally thank Criterion for taking the time and effort to remastering and releasing the films of Pierre Etaix to the public. Like his mentor Jacques Tati, Etaix is a comic genius whose humor is rooted in the classic comedians of the silent era (Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Harold Lloyd). Also like these comedians, Etaix uses humor to comment upon modern society (or what was considered modern at the time he was working). My personal favorite film out of this collection is Le Grand Amour, which takes the cinema trope of the troubled marriage, and brings it to a brilliantly surreal level. This is, without a doubt, the blu-ray release of the year!
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    Passionate music lover since he was a child and of circus world and influenced by the silent screen comedy artists he love - Langdon, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy- great french comedy master Pierre Etaix started his cinematic career in a brief cameo scene of Robert Bresson's Pickpocket and at the side of also comedy genius Jacques Tati. Painter, professional clown - he shared stage with Charlie Rivel in the Medrano, joined Tati at the Olympia, on his show "Jour de fete", became a popular comedian on his country working first in famous salas like "Le cheval d'or" and then with his wife Annie Fratellini as comedy couple - and graphic artist - he drew between others the film posters of Tati's Mon Oncle and Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot - he jumped into film direction and the filming of his own stuff joining Jean-Claude Carriere - whom Etaix considers his script writing teacher - in the short film Rupture(1961),co-directed with Carriere himself. Tagged sometimes as the french Buster Keaton - one of his most beloved and admirated comedy artists with Stan Laurel and Charlie Rivel -probably for his precise "mise-en-scene", exquisite and very calculated sight-gags and his way of acting - Etaix joins in his films slapstick, classic circus routines and acrobatic bits with sophisticated comedy in films plenty of surreal visual invention. His movies also shine for his great taste for the coreographic visual gag and the funny, very creative use of sound and music.Read more ›
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    I saw The Suitor 50 years ago, and was delighted with the beauty of the film, a series of carefully crafted images that told a simple story with a quiet surface but great underlying emotion. Etaix managed an uneasy balancing act of telling a comedic story without making his protagonist a clown.

    Now, with the re-release of all his films, I find that Etaix was literally a clown at one time, and brought that background to film. So far, I've watched The Suitor, Yoyo (in which Etaix' background is a major aspect of the plot - a rich kid who runs off to join the circus) and two highly inventive short films. All are beautifully filmed on low budgets, but the Blu-Ray restoration helps show the highly polished works that they are.

    I would recommend these films to anyone who enjoys Jacques Tati (Etaix's mentor) or Bill Forsyth movies. They are in that quiet spirit, but evoke hearty laughter.
    Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    The only thing worse than a filmmaker not be taken seriously by critics or moviegoers is a filmmaker generally ignored by both. Critics hate Michael Bay, but at least he's well-known, and Douglas Sirk is scoffed at by the moviegoers, but at least he's respected in the academia. Pierre Etaix is another story: he was virtually ignored by even the most sophisticated film critics and he was on the verge of being forgotten by the most strident of movie lovers. This was mostly because of a bitter legal nightmare, which prevented his movies from being widely available in America for over a couple of decades. It also didn't help that his movies had yet to be restored and thus looked every bit as blemished as most of the unprotected comedy shorts of the silent era. But after a long legal battle, it is finally over. Pierre Etaix's movies are not only available in this fantastic Criterion box set; they are available in pristine visual and audio quality. As an added bonus, Etaix's feature-length movies are accompanied with all his short films. Beautifully restored and packaged, the films of Pierre Etaix have never looked this good since their release in the 60s.

    I didn't hear about Pierre Etaix, until I read that his work had been compared to Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton. Since I am a fan of both filmmakers and since I heard that Etaix was an influence on the likes of David Lynch, Terry Gilliam and Woody Allen, I looked into it. I must confess, I was hesitant to buy the Criterion box set since I did not want to spend my job money on something that had the potential to disappoint me. But once I finished watching "The Suitor", my qualms were erased. Then when I saw "Yoyo" and "Milk and Honey", I was in a state of elation. In the end, I couldn't be any happier to spend $40.
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