As Long as You've Got Your Health
Director: Pierre Étaix
Year Released: 1966
Four shorts are stitched into a feature by Étaix, with him as the main figure in each: in "Insomnia" he can't sleep so he reads a scary novel (with his wife next to him unfazed by the lamp), for "The Movies" the simple act of trying to watch a film in a packed theater is a challenge (those ads!), in the title piece the sounds of construction and traffic cause anxiety in the populace and for "Into the Woods No More" he plays a (terrible) hunter out in the country while an older couple has a mediocre picnicking experience. The pieces don't have a whole lot to do with each other, and what is 'there' is pretty slight: "Insomnia" ends up being a glib joke and "The Movies" and "As Long as You've Got Your Health" feel like underdeveloped features, with only the final quarter bringing out a few hard-earned chuckles (that damn fence!). Étaix and co-screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière worked on several projects with each other ... and these feel like they were salvaged from the 'bad idea' bin.