As Long As You're Healthy | Chicago Reader

As Long As You're Healthy

The French comic filmmaker Pierre Etaix, backsliding after his sustained narrative Yoyo (1965), dishes up a series of unconnected vignettes; they barely cohere, but taken individually they offer a wealth of wonderful sight gags. Though the film was released in 1966, this is the reedited version Etaix created five years later, deleting one of the old segments and adding the brilliant "Insomnia" as the opener. In color, Etaix tries to get to sleep by reading a vampire novel; intercut with this are black-and-white scenes from the book that recall the heavy-breathing gothicism of the Hammer horror films. Etaix cleverly parodies the cinematic conceit of picturing a story that a character is reading: when the insomniac accidentally grabs the book wrong side up, the black-and-white story appears upside-down. In French with subtitles.


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