Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque

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Overview

Henri Langlois was, in many respects, the ultimate film fan. In 1936, at the age of 22, Langlois became along with Jean Mitry and Georges Franju one of the founders of the Cinémathèque Française, a theater and museum devoted to preserving the history of the motion picture. Initially a tiny operation financed by private funds, the Cinémathèque, with time, grew into Europe's most important film archive, collecting and preserving prints of rare films from all over the world and protecting many rare gems of the ...
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Overview

Henri Langlois was, in many respects, the ultimate film fan. In 1936, at the age of 22, Langlois became along with Jean Mitry and Georges Franju one of the founders of the Cinémathèque Française, a theater and museum devoted to preserving the history of the motion picture. Initially a tiny operation financed by private funds, the Cinémathèque, with time, grew into Europe's most important film archive, collecting and preserving prints of rare films from all over the world and protecting many rare gems of the French cinema from destruction during the Nazi occupation of World War II. Langlois' enthusiasm for sharing the treasures of his collection with others helped spawn a film-crazy generation who created the French New Wave of the '50s, and in time, the French government acknowledged the importance of the Cinémathèque's work by financing their endeavors. In 1968, the French minister of culture, André Malraux, responded to Langlois' difficult personality and sloppy bookkeeping by pulling the government's financing of his projects, which led to an international outcry leading to the shutdown of the Cannes Film Festival by activists and film buffs. The Cinémathèque's funding and Langlois' leadership were later restored, and in 1973, his work in film preservation was honored with a special Academy Award. Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque is a documentary which chronicles the life, times, and passions of the legendary archivist and includes interviews with his friends, contemporaries, and colleagues -- including Claude Berri, Claude Chabrol, Jack Valenti, and Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
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Special Features

"Langlois Monumental": (1991, 10 min., French w/English subtitles) A film of the dedication ceremony for the Langlois Monument. Featuring Sam Fuller and Marcel Carne; "Le Musee du Cinema Henri Langlois": (1997, 3 min., French w/ English subtitles) Featurette about the Henri Langlois museum of cinema. Narrated by Alain Delon; Stills gallery
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/15/2006
  • UPC: 738329047528
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 2:08:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 51,021

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henri Alékan Participant
Jo Amorin Participant
Jean-Michel Arnold Participant
Christian Auboire Participant
Raphael Bassan Participant
Claude Berri Participant
Bermard Boursicot Participant
Freddy Buache Participant
Pierre Cardin Participant
Claude Chabrol Participant
Jacques Champreux Participant
Odile Chapel Participant
Henri Chapier Participant
Michel Ciment Participant
Daniel Cohn-Bendit Participant
Cyril Collard Participant
Hervé de Luze Participant
Sybille de Luze Participant
Jean Diard Participant
Yvonne Dornes Participant
Jean Douchet Participant
Max Douy Participant
Lotte Eisner
Marie Epstein Participant
Zahra Farzaneh Participant
Marie-France Participant
Georges Franju
Alain Gabet Participant
Farohk Gaffary Participant
Philippe Garrel Participant
Noelle Giret Participant
Jean-Luc Godard Participant
Gorges Goldfayn Participant
Jean Gonnet Participant
Romain Goupil Participant
Alfred Hitchcock
Robert Hossein Participant
Henri Hudrisier Participant
Leone Jaffin Participant
Marie-Josee Jeannet Participant
Patrick Kamenka Participant
André S. Labarthe Participant
Jean-Louis Langlois Participant
Maurice Lemaitre Participant
Jean-Pierre Léaud Participant
Lucie Lichtig
Renee Lichtig Participant
Serge Losique Participant
Madeleine Malthete-Melies Participant
Bernard Martinand Participant
Frederic Mitterrand Participant
Pierre Moinot Participant
Maud Molyneux Participant
Glenn Myrent Participant
Jean Narboni Participant
Luc Passerau-Supervielle Participant
Olivier Petitjean Participant
Philippe Pierre Participant
Maurice Pialat Participant
Francine Pilat Participant
Andre Rieupeyrout Participant
Jacques Robiolles Participant
Eric Rohmer Participant
Jean Rouch Participant
Ambroise Roux Participant
Ewa Rudling Participant
Jacques Salom Participant
Daniel Schmidt Participant
Werner Schroeter Participant
Nicholas Seydoux Participant
Simone Signoret
Jean-Charles Tacchella Participant
Max Tessier Participant
Serge Toubiana Participant
François Truffaut
Jean Tulard Participant
Jack Valenti Participant
Luce Vigo Participant
Michel Warren Participant
Technical Credits
Jacques Richard Director, Cinematographer
Nicolas Baby Score Composer
Jerome Blumberg Cinematographer
Francois Didiot Sound/Sound Designer
Liam Farrell Score Composer
Fabrice Radenac Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque
1. The Circle of Cinema [7:38]
2. Save Everything [2:53]
3. The War Years [4:31]
4. Stroke of Fate [5:16]
5. Father of the New Wave [4:03]
6. Absolute Classics [5:27]
7. Powers of Observation [5:16]
8. Art of Programming [4:09]
9. Cinephile vs. Cinephage [5:05]
10. Sanctuary for Filmmakers [3:17]
11. Mary Meerson [8:02]
12. Collection at a Cost [5:42]
13. The Race Against Time [5:03]
14. Chaos and Rusty Cans [3:27]
15. Destroying Films [5:03]
16. Enemies? You Bet! [4:36]
17. Friends in Exile [5:15]
18. Tensions Run High [5:16]
19. Langlois Re-instated [5:50]
20. Honors and Awards [3:18]
21. Beyond the New Wave [6:42]
22. The Museum of Cinema [5:38]
23. Inauguration [5:22]
24. A Museum Requires Care [6:08]
25. Legend Passes [6:01]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque
   Play Film
   Chapters
   Extras
      "Langlois Monumental": 1991 10 min. French With English Subtitles
      "Le Musee Du Cinema Henri Langlois": 1997 3 min. French With English Subtitles
      Stills Gallery
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Unsung hero of the French New Wave

    Henri Langlois was an important, but little known, figure in the French New Wave cinema. Although he never made a film, he was an inspiration to Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and scores of others who changed world cinema in the early 1960s.
    Langlois was the head of the French Cinematheque, an organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of film. While Langlois helped to save several films that might have been lost to the ravages of time, perhaps his greatest talents lay in the programs he presented at the Cinematheque. By showing both accepted classics of world cinema along with rare American genre films, Langlois opened his audiences to a wide range of cinematic styles. Those audiences -- which included Truffaut, Godard and others -- took what they saw and went on to make some of the best films in the history of cinema.
    A somewhat eccentric figure with unorthodox working methods, Langlois became the focus of controversy that led to his being ousted from the Cinematheque, which erupted into a fire storm of protest led by Truffaut and other New Wave figures. Unfortunately, the Cinematheque never fully recovered.

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