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No synopsis for Pierre Etaix.
For more about Pierre Etaix and the Pierre Etaix Blu-ray release, see Pierre Etaix Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on May 7, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.
Starring: Pierre Étaix, Claudine Auger, Nicole Calfan, Maurice Biraud, Philippe Castelli, Annie Fratellini
Director: Pierre Étaix
This Blu-ray bundle includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:
Pierre Etaix Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, May 7, 2013
The films of Pierre Etaix arrive on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The two-disc set includes "Rupture" (1961), "Happy Anniversary" (1962), "The Suitor" (1962), "Yoyo" (1965), "As Long As You've Got Your Health" (1966), "Feeling Good" (1966), "Le Grand Amour" (1969), and "Land of Milk and Honey" (1971). The supplemental features on this release include video introductions to the films by Pierre Etaix, as well as Odile Etaix's documentary film "Pierre Etaix, Un destine anime" (2011). The release also arrives with an illustrated booklet featuring David Cairns' essay "The Return of Etaix". In French, with optional English subtitles for each film. Region-A "locked".
He is shorter and thinner but his body movement is very similar to Jacques Tati's. His energy before the camera rivals that of the legendary Fernandel. His facial expressions have plenty in common with those of the great Italian comedian Toto. Yet his style is truly unique. Pierre Etaix's films have a certain atmosphere that cannot be mistaken. They are outrageously funny and at the same time quite sad, very entertaining yet thought-provoking.
Criterion's two-disc release contains five feature films and three shorts directed by and starring Etaix. All of them have been recently restored by French label Studio 37, the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage, and the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, under the supervision of Etaix.
Excluding The Land of Milk and Honey, a witty documentary feature about the socio-political climate in France during the late '60s, the films in this wonderful release share three common themes. The first is loneliness. In the terrific short Rupture, for instance, a man tries to start a letter meant for a beautiful woman whom he has obviously lost. His attempts are hilarious, but the whole film is quite sad because it is clear that the man is now so lonely and hurt that he can't even think straight. The main protagonist in the Fellini-esque Yoyo is just as lonely. He is an incredibly rich man living in a giant secluded villa whose life is essentially a series of mechanical moves. He repeats them daily, frequently surrounded by impeccably dressed and disturbingly cold servants. Unlike the brokenhearted man in Rupture, however, here the rich and very lonely man undergoes an incredible character transformation.
The second theme can be best described as the elusive woman. In The Suitor, arguably the funniest of all Etaix films, a disorganized bachelor desperately tries to find someone to fall in love with. His strange adventures remind of those Tati's characters often embark on, which means that anything that could go wrong in his life while looking for the special woman usually does. In Feeling Good there is another bachelor who tries his best to have a wonderful weekend but is repeatedly forced to change his plans. Though there isn't an important female characters here, it is made very clear that the man's life would have had the right rhythm and balance if he had someone special to share it with.
Continuous observation is the third and arguably most prominent theme. In every film the camera carefully follows the main protagonist for long periods of time, frequently treating him as an exotic object. At times the attention becomes overwhelming, pushing some of the films into the documentary territory. But it is easy to understand why all of this is done – Etaix's acting is incredibly nuanced and subtle, incredibly well controlled.
With the exception of The Land of Milk and Honey all of the feature films also have an episodic structure. The majority of the episodes are so well done that with a few minor editing adjustments they could easily be rearranged and the film they belong to will still be fascinating to behold.
1. Rupture (13 min, 1961)
2. Happy Anniversary (14 min, 1962)
3. The Suitor (85 min, 1962)
4. Yoyo (99 min, 1965)
1. As Long As You've Got Your Health (68 min, 1966)
2. Feeling Good (15 min, 1966)
3. Le Grand Amour (87 min, 1969)
4. Land of Milk and Honey (77 min, 1971)
Pierre Etaix Blu-ray, Video Quality
Encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted 1080p transfers, the Pierre Etaix films arrive on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. (Each film, including the shorts, has a progressive transfer).
The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray release:
"These new digital masters were made from the 2010 restorations undertaken by Studio 37, the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage, and the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, under the supervision of director Pierre Etaix.
For the restorations of Rapture, Happy Anniversary, Feeling Good, and The Suitor, the transfers were created in high-definition on a Spirit Datacine from the original 35mm negatives, and the sound was restored from the optical track negatives. The transfer for Yoyo was created in high-definition on a Spirit Datacine from a wet-gate-printed 35mm duplicate negative, and the sound was restored from the optical track negative. For As Long As You've Got Your Health, the transfer was created in high-definition on a Spirit Datacine from the original camera negative and a 35mm duplicate negative, and the sound was restored from the optical track negative. The transfer for Le grand amour was created in 2K resolution on an ARRISCAN film scanner from the original 35mm camera negative and two reels of wet-gate-printed interpositive, and the sound was restored from the 35mm magnetic tracks. And for Land of Milk and Honey, the transfer was created in high-definition on a Spirit Datacine from a 35mm blow-up internegative made from the 16mm reversal, while the sound was restored from the optical track negative.
Restorations supervised by: Pierre Etaix.
Restoration coordination: Francois Ede.
Digital restoration: Ronald Boullet, Sebastian Guyot, Charlotte Quemy, Giovanni Zimolo/Eclair Laboratories, France.
Colorist: Bruno Patin, Eclair Laboratories, France.
Photochemical processing: Florence Paulin/LNF, Paris.
Sound restoration: Lionel Risler/Sofreson, Paris."
The screencaptures used with this review appear in the following order:
1. Screencaptures #1-4 are from Rupture
2. Screencaptures #5-9 are from Happy Anniversary
3. Screencaptures #10-19 are from The Suitor
4. Screencaptures #19-23 are from Yoyo
5. Screencaptures #24-29 are from As Long As You've Got Your Health
6. Screencaptures #30-31 are from Feeling Good
7. Screencaptures #32-37 are from Le Grand Amour
8. Screencaptures #38-39 are from Land of Milk and Honey
All of the films in this terrific two-disc set have been sourced from the recent restorations undertaken by French label Studio 37, the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage, and the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, which were supervised by Pierre Etaix. Generally speaking, these films now look absolutely spectacular, despite the fact that for some the existing elements were apparently in very poor condition. Yoyo, in particular, looks remarkably healthy and vibrant. Image depth and clarity are relatively similar on all of the feature films, though Le Grand Amour has the most consistently pleasing organic look. The first two short films, Rupture and Happy Anniversary, apparently suffered a lot, but after photochemical and digital processing now appear pleasingly stable and vibrant. Overall, grain is typically well resolved and there are no problematic sharpening corrections, though with Rupture grain does appear slightly uneven. The feature films, however, look very strong, boasting excellent fluidity and very stable and natural colors. Finally, there are absolutely no debris, cuts, damage marks, stains, or warps to report in this review. All in all, the quality of the presentations is indeed very good, which is why there is no doubt in my mind that these will likely be the definitive presentations of Pierre Etaix's films. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Pierre Etaix Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are seven standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release. (See listings below). For each film, Criterion have included optional English subtitles. (The intertitles on Yoyo are also subtitled).
1. Rupture: French Dolby Digital 1.0.
2. Happy Anniversary: French Dolby Digital 1.0.
3. The Suitor: French LPCM 1.0.
4. Yoyo: French LPCM 1.0
5. As Long As You've Got Your Health: French LPCM 1.0.
6. Feeling Good: French LPCM 1.0.
7. Le Grand Amour: French LPCM 1.0.
8. Land of Milk and Honey: French LPCM 1.0.
Large portions of Pierre Etaix's films have only random sounds and noises. Most of them are well enhanced and quite effective. Some of the feature films, such as Yoyo and The Suitor, also have lovely music scores, but dynamic movement is quite limited. Generally speaking, the dialog is crisp, stable, and very easy to follow. It is easy to tell that, where needed, various stabilizations have been performed. There is no excessive background hiss or problematic distortions. The English translation is outstanding.
Pierre Etaix Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Pierre Etaix Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
This is a phenomenal release, one of the very best to be produced by a U.S. distributor since the high-definition format was launched. It reintroduces to the world a true master, one that should be admired as much as Jacques Tati, Louis de Funès, Toto, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin. I would like to recommend it to everyone, even to those of you who reside on the other side of the Atlantic. If you don't have a Region-Free player, buy one now, and import Criterion's release. I guarantee it will become one of the most treasured releases in your collection. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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