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World Cinema Series: Le Grand Amour / The Great Love

When 3 December 2013 (Tuesday), 7.30pm
Where National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897

Free admission but members only -- flash your membership card to go in. You may bring up to 2 guests if you hold a SFS Reel membership card. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating.


Le Grand Amour / The Great Love

Director: Pierre Étaix

1969 / France / 87 min / 35 mm / Rating TBC

In French with English Subtitles


Image © 2010 Studio37- Technicolor Foundation - Groupama Gan Foundation


Pierre Étaix is a comic genius in the vein of Charlie Chaplin who made a series of physical comedies that have regrettably been obscured from the public due to an elongated legal tussle. Yet his films have been praised by renowned directors such as Truffaut, Godard and even David Lynch. With the recent restoration of his films, his legacy is set to be discovered by more people and reintroduced into the canon of French Cinema.

Le Grand Amour is Étaix’s ode to the joys and perils of married life. Through the most common circumstances, Pierre (starring Pierre Étaix himself) is married to Florence and finds himself settling into a comfortable yet repetitive bourgeois existence. When a young and pretty secretary arrives at work in his office, the mere sight of her triggers an acute mid-life crisis, accentuating the possibilities of an unfulfilled life, and resurrects repressed desires which sends him spiraling through bouts of fantasies. In an unforgettable dream sequence which parodies Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967), Pierre finds himself driving through the countryside on his bed towards his object of desire as he whizzes past his fellow dream commuters fixing their broken-down bed automobiles and quarrelling with one another over collusions and sites of wreckage.

In Le Grand Amour, a never-ending series of idiosyncratic yet delicate and endearing gags flow through a series of memories and imagination which offer a humorous yet resounding look into the male psyche. It does so with a discreet critique and observation of bourgeois life through gentle epiphanies which will delight of the most skeptical cinema audiences.

The Complete Film Works of Pierre Etaix has been restored by Studio 37, Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema