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This short was originally one of the sequences of As Long as You're Healthy, in its 1965 version. In 1971, Pierre Étaix re-edited it to a short feature : Feeling good. In 2010, it was presented in the general reissue of his films.
Agnes, a lonely teenage girl, and her father befriend an escaped convict, named Joseph, who arrives at their farm in Brittany, France. When Joseph develops an attraction to Agnes, her father threatens to break up the union.
The director's cut (restored version) opens and closes with theatrical curtains in homage to Georges Méliés films, and is divided into four parts, separated by title cards: I - L'insomnie [a man can't sleep, and reads about vampires until sunrise, when his wife finally wakes up and reveals her true nature]; II - Le cinématographe [unlike 1895, employees leaving the factory, or the office, are a much eventful thing, and finding a sit in a crowded cinema is quite a task]; III - Tant qu'on a la santé [in modern times, everyone suffers of stress, and the psychiatrist most of all other people]; IV - Nous n'irons plus au bois [a week-end hunter, a couple out for a pic-nic, and a farmer setting a wire fence find that a large wood is not large enough to accommodate them all]. Written by
A hilarious series of sketches of modern life (circa 1966) and how one simple bourgeois soul tries to cope.
I haven't seen this since I was a teenager, when I was, as I still am, a huge fan of Etaix, one of the last of the great movie gag men. As far as I can remember, this wasn't quite as funny as Le Soupirant, but very much in the same vein: a series of sketches, visual gags in the style of Buster Keaton. It's a hilarious view of modern life and how one rather meek, humble chap (Etaix) manages to cope in the face of the increasingly odd behaviour of his fellow humans. There are some very wry portraits of bourgeois behaviour in Paris and in the country, and poor Monsieur Etaix does his best to swim with the tide or guess which way the current is going. For many years, after seeing this film, and Le Soupirant, I would sing the praises of Pierre Etaix to anyone who would listen, and I'm doing it again: a warm, human, hilarious film-maker.
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