Jacques Richard – Le Fantôme d’Henri Langlois AKA Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque [Uncut] [+Extras] (2004)


“For the first decades of their existence, movies were seen not as works of art deserving preservation but as disposable commodities. The notion that they might be preserved, collected and studied was in the air by the mid-1930’s, but it took the pluck and persistence of a single eccentric Frenchman to make the idea a reality. The name of Henri Langlois — subject of “Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinémathèque,” a long, affectionate documentary directed by Jacques Richard — is not as well known as those of some directors whose work and reputations he saved from oblivion. Still, Mr. Richard’s film makes a persuasive case for Langlois as one of the most important figures in the history of film and therefore in the history of 20th-century art. And he was, after his own fashion, an artist — a collector and curator with the temperament of a poet. A shabbily dressed, chain-smoking walrus of a man, Langlois emerges in the course of this fascinating film as a maddening, inspiring figure, afire with intelligence and passion.” Continue reading