Friday, January 30, 2015

Film Capsule: Pierre Étaix's Yoyo (1965)


Yoyo (1965)
Directed by Pierre Étaix

A lonely billionaire lives unsatisfied in his countryside manor, yearning for his estranged son and former lover who work as traveling circus performers. In the wake of the stock market crash, he takes up with the troupe himself, the trio garnering modest success and the young Yoyo in particular growing into an accomplished entertainer. The aristocrat, as well as the adult Yoyo, is portrayed by actor-director Pierre Étaix in this surreal, not-quite-silent homage to life and love and the plight of the working class. From a script by Jean-Claude Carrière, the film protracts and suspends time as the fates of the father and son subtly intertwine. The recently rediscovered Étaix, a physical comedian and one-time assistant of Jacques Tati, is as colorful an actor as he is a dynamic director, eliciting gravity from gags and humor from human nature in a manner as proficient as his more celebrated peers. (Feb 3, 4pm at FIAF’s “Eccentrics of French Comedy”) [The L]

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