cinematically insane

When asked why he was making his first visit to New York City, Pierre Étaix smiled broadly.

“It’s never too late,” the 83-year-old actor/director said, as the capacity crowd at Film Forum signaled their enthusiastic agreement.

Still vibrant and playful, the French filmmaker appeared at the downtown Manhattan revival house on Friday night after a screening of LE GRAND AMOUR, a delightful 1969 comedy in which he stars and directs – also making its much belated New York debut. The event marked the launch of a 12-day Étaix retrospective at Film Forum: four features; three shorts; and one documentary, all produced between 1961 and 1971. Unseen for decades due to rights issues, Étaix’s movies have recently been restored and will be touring nationwide in new 35 mm prints from Janus Films.

A native of Roanne, France, Étaix began his career as an illustrator, clown and cabaret performer in Paris, before breaking…

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