Pierre Étaix: The Laughter Returns

Heureux Anniversaire
Heureux Anniversaire Le Grand Amour Le Grand Amour

Featured PIERRE ÉTAIX in person and screenings of "LE GRAND AMOUR" and his Oscar-winning short "HEUREUX ANNIVERSAIRE"


Hosted by Leonard Maltin and Geneviève Bujold

The delightful films of Pierre Étaix, a classic French comedian influenced by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, have been largely unseen for over 20 years.

Copyright entanglements have long kept Pierre Étaix’s work out of the public eye. Happily, these films have recently been restored and re-released in France. Now, following his stateside appearance at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival, the Academy welcomed Étaix to Los Angeles. After a conversation with the comedian, newly restored prints of his Oscar-winning short "Heureux Anniversaire" ("Happy Anniversary," 1962) and his delightful romantic farce "Le Grand Amour" ("The Great Love," 1969) will be presented.

Étaix is a clown, magician, illustrator and cabaret artist who worked with famed director Jacques Tati in various capacities on "Mon Oncle" (1958). He then found an ideal collaborator for his own film projects in writer Jean-Claude Carrière. Although it is evident that Étaix was inspired by the great silent comedians, both as a filmmaker and a performer, his graceful, inventive, humorous and deliciously French comedies are uniquely his own.

The evening was hosted by distinguished film historian and author Leonard Maltin and Academy Award-nominated actress Geneviève Bujold ("Anne of the Thousand Days"), who appeared with Étaix in "The Thief of Paris" (1967).

The films of Pierre Étaix were restored by Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema. 

Mr. Étaix’s appearance was made possible through the generous cooperation of Unifrance Films and L'Institut français.

The Jack Oakie Celebration of Comedy in Film provides an opportunity for established filmmakers and historians to share their experiences and to discuss the specific challenges and delights of the comedy film genre. The lecture series is named in memory of character actor Jack Oakie, whose career included vaudeville, Broadway musicals and 87 pictures, most of them comedies or musical comedies. His career included such notable films as "Once in a Lifetime," "Million Dollar Legs" and "It Happened Tomorrow," and was crowned by his portrayal as a Mussolini-like head of state in "The Great Dictator," for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

Mr. Étaix appeared through the courtesy of Unifrance Films, L'Institut françias and the Los Angeles French Film & TV Office.

unifrance films, institut francais, Los Angeles Film & TV Office French Embassy

Event Information

November 16, 2011
Samuel Goldwyn Theater