Le Grand Amour
(Pierre Étaix, France, 1969, 35mm, 86 min)
New 35mm print!
Étaix plays Pierre, married to Florence (Annie Fratellini) - though he figures he could have married one of numerous other women. Despite the salacious gossip of the elderly local women who watch his every move, he has enjoyed a largely happy marriage and a satisfactory, albeit not exactly stimulating, life. Then the arrival of a new secretary, 18 year-old Agnes (Nicole Calfan), turns his world upside down.
Consumed by a passion which he is convinced must be love, he indulges in increasingly absurd and charmingly innocent romantic fantasies, utterly distracted from his day-to-day life. Over time, he becomes convinced that the only way he can be happy is to consummate his new-found love. But the dilemmas this presents him with are overwhelming.
“The end to this long-running legal dispute should be a cause for celebration among film fans, even though many, quite understandably, will never have seen one of his movies before.”
—Pamela Hutchinson, The Guardian
Plus Academy Award-winning short Heureux Anniversaire (1962)