The Cinematheque francaise celebrates the centenary of a co-founder, Henri Langlois 1914 ✠ 1977

Portrait d’Henri Langlois, DR © Collection La Cinémathèque française. Auteur inconnu

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Throughout April 2014, the Cinémathèque française celebrates the centenary of its co-founder, Henri Langlois 1914 ✠ 1977, with several special programs. Langlois was a “larger than life” character. What he accomplished in France in fostering cinema culture — an insistence that the cinema is an art the equal of any other — changed moviegoing around the world, for the better, and for all time. A giant of the cinema, who never made a movie; one of its greatest champions. Read a nice article in “Les echos” by Marc-Antoine Hartemann:

  • Langlois bonus: For his centenary, a special program pays homage to Henri Langlois, the father of the Cinémathèque française — article translated into English by Google; or
  • Sus à Langlois : Pour son centenaire, une programmation spéciale rend hommage à Henri Langlois, figure tutélaire de la Cinémathèque Française — in the original French.
  • Henri Langlois Centenary at the Cinémathèque. In English — translated by Google
  • The Langlois Affair, by Louis Menand, published in the New Yorker, casts a spotlight on the man, and on the nature — and magnitude — of his accomplishment.

The Langlois Affair began on February 9, 1968 when Henri Langlois, the director of the Cinémathèque Française, which he had established, in the mid-thirties, with his friend Georges Franju, and dedicated to preserving and exhibiting movies from all periods and countries, was relieved of his position and replaced by a man named Pierre Barbin. Barbin was an obscure and relatively inexperienced film-festival organizer, and Langlois was a culture hero, a status recognized even by his adversaries. One of the men who engineered his dismissal, Pierre Moinot, called him “a ragpicker of genius.” Langlois was also, as it turned out, a fox, and his confrontation with French officialdom is one of the great stories of a year whose meaning, like the meaning of 1789 and the meaning of 1848 and, someday, probably, the meaning of 2001, is a forever deepening mystery, even for — especially for — the people who lived through it. READ MORE