If you’ve never heard of Pierre Étaix, blame lawyers: Protracted legal wranglings kept the French comedy mastermind’s films unreleased and unseen for decades. They’re now back in circulation, thanks to a petition signed by such luminaries as Woody Allen, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch. Cinephiles are sure to find them worth the wait. A collaborator of Jacques Tati and Luis Buñuel who went on to found a clown college, the actor/director created some of France’s most beloved comedies. His films feature precise, deadpan humor that recalls Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. They’re stylish and poignant, filled with absurdist sight gags and exquisitely composed shots. The Belcourt’s retrospective gathers the cream of his ’60s crop: The Suitor is the story of a hapless nebbish who’s ordered by his parents to find a wife; in Yoyo, a bored 1920s millionaire joins the circus after losing it all in the stock market crash.