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Pierre Étaix Series Pass
Northwest Film Forum
Seattle, WA
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Pierre Étaix Series Pass
The Great Cinematic Clown Pierre Étaix


Please see the film dates and times here:

All new 35mm prints!

Jerry Lewis acclaimed him as a genius and Terry Gilliam is a devoted fan: Pierre Étaix is a one-man new wave of comedy. A clown, magician, illustrator and cabaret artist whose films recall the genius of Keaton, Chaplin and Lloyd, he's probably the finest physical comedian you've never heard of.  
The extent of his film work, like Jacques Tati's, is short; just five films. Yet his contribution to film comedy and film language is enormous. Tied up in copyright issues for forty years, and finally released due to a petition of 56,000 signatures (including those of Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch and Woody Allen), Pierre Étaix's films finally return to cinema audiences. Étaix's cinema career had auspicious beginnings: he crafted artwork and jokes for Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle (1958) and demonstrated his sleight of hand in Robert Bresson's Pickpocket (1959), before going on to direct and star in films of his own.  

Lovingly restored by Technicolor Foundation for Cinema, the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and Studio 37, this retrospective of Étaix' films is long overdue. Major tour support provided by UniFrance and the Institute Français.

"A master of screen comedy! He is every bit as worthy of praise and study as Tati, yet he is all but unknown today." Leonard Maltin

"Étaix is a revelation: hilarious, subversive, deadpan. You can see in his work the seeds of everything we've laughed at during the last sixty plus years." Ken Burns

"Twice in my life I understood what genius was. The first time was looking at the definition in the dictionary. The second was encountering Pierre Étaix."  -Jerry Lewis

The Great Cinematic Clown Pierre Étaix
Le Grand Amour

New 35mm print!

Feb 06, 2013

(Pierre Étaix, France, 1969, 35mm, 86 min)

Étaix plays Pierre, married to Florence (Annie Fratellini) - though he figures he could have married one of numerous other women. He enjoys a largely happy marriage and a satisfactory, albeit not exactly stimulating, life. Then the arrival of a new secretary, 18 year-old Agnes (Nicole Calfan), turns his world upside down.

Consumed by a passion which he is convinced must be love, he indulges in increasingly absurd and charmingly innocent romantic fantasies, utterly distracted from his day-to-day life. Over time, he becomes convinced that the only way he can be happy is to consummate his new-found love. But the dilemmas this presents him with are overwhelming.


The Great Cinematic Clown Pierre Étaix
Yo Yo

New 35mm print!

Feb 07, 2013

(Pierre Étaix, France, 1965, 35mm, 92 min)

Yo Yo spans many decades, mirroring the silent film arena in the early 20s. Étaix plays a millionaire longing for his first lovean equestrienne in the circus.  When he loses everything in the crash of 1929, dialogue is introduced and he joins the circus to be with his lover. They have a son together and he grows up to be a famous performer. Étaix steps in as the adult son, showcasing his clowning skills and talent in both silent and audible styles comedy.


The Great Cinematic Clown Pierre Étaix
As Long As You're Healthy

New 35mm print!

Feb 13, 2013

(Pierre Étaix, France, 1966, 35mm, 78 min)

In this slapstick observational comedy, the hassles of city life trigger a chain of events that lead Pierre's girlfriend to walk out on him. With his life spiraling out of control, Pierre retreats to the countryside for some peace and quiet.  

Screens with the short film Feeling Good.


The Great Cinematic Clown Pierre Étaix
The Suitor

New 35mm print!

Feb 14, 2013

(Pierre Étaix, France, 1963, 35mm 83 min)

Under parental pressure to find a wife, Pierre becomes a bookworm on the prowl. According to Pamela Hutchinson of The Guardian, the story is "essentially the tale of a man being dragged through Paris by his own recently awakened libido." His plans not unexpectedly go awry in Pierre Étaix's delightful first feature.

Screens with short film Rapture


The Great Cinematic Clown Pierre Étaix
Land of Milk and Honey

New 35mm print!

Feb 21, 2013

(Pierre Étaix, France, 1971, 35mm 80 min)

Filmed the summer after the protests of 1968, Étaix captures the French on vacation. In his first and only documentary, audio interviews entertain the director's fixation with modern living. The result is a satirical juxtaposition of leisure and violence.  




Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
United States

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