Imagine if one of your favorite film comedians–Jacques Tati, Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis–had somehow, inexplicably, vanished from cinema history. All of a sudden, no Jour de Fête, no Steamboat Bill, no Disorderly Orderly (maybe that last one’s not such a bad idea.) They’d been popular films, hilarious, brought joy and surprise into your life, and then–wait a minute!–you realize you haven’t heard a single thing about the performer. What has it been, ten years?
That’s just about the story of Pierre Etaix (say it ay-TEX!) A gag writer for Tati, he set out on his own, and like the screwball comet Preston Sturges, blasted out four incredible movies from 1962-1969 that are little masterpieces–The Suitor, Yoyo (which is quite an epic), As Long As You’ve Got Your Health, and Le Grand Amour, plus a strange and lovely documentary called Land of Milk and Honey from 1971. Like Tati, his characters are graceful romantics, bumbling about in a world that baffles them as much as they perplex the world at large. Not only hilarious, the world of Pierre Etaix is also damned beautiful.
The Trylon is screening these five great movies this month, and we really hope you’ll check out these lost classics, especially since each is on 35mm film that has been beautifully restored by our friends at Janus.