|Headquarters||51 Rue de Bercy|
75012 Paris, France
| Henri Langlois |
& Georges Franju
The Cinémathèque Française (French pronunciation: [sinematɛk fʁɑ̃sɛːz] ) is a French non-profit film organization founded in 1936 that holds one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world. Based in Paris, the archive offers daily screenings of worldwide films.
The collection emerged from the efforts of Henri Langlois and Lotte H Eisner in the mid 1930s to collect and screen films. Langlois had acquired one of the largest collections in the world by the beginning of World War II, only to have it nearly wiped out by the German authorities in occupied France, who ordered the destruction of all films made prior to 1937. He and his friends smuggled huge numbers of documents and films out of occupied France to protect them until the end of the war.
After the war, the French government provided a small screening room, staff and subsidy for the collection, which was first relocated to the Avenue de Messine. Significant French filmmakers of the 1940s and 1950s, including Robert Bresson, René Clément, Henri-Georges Clouzot and Jacques Becker frequented screenings at the Cinémathèque. Directors of the New Wave (la Nouvelle Vague) school — Alain Resnais, Jacques Rivette, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Roger Vadim, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Pierre Kast — also received much of their film education by attending the collection's screenings.
A meeting in 1945 in Basle between Langlois and Freddy Buache led, via Lausanne's first film club, to the founding in 1950 of the Cinémathèque suisse.
In June 1963, the Cinémathèque had moved to the Palais de Chaillot with funds provided by André Malraux, Minister of Culture, and became subject to the government. In February 1968, under pressure from the Ministry of Finance, Malraux required changes in the management of the Cinémathèque and dismissed Henri Langlois.
A defence committee was formed, uniting the cream of French filmmakers (Alexandre Astruc, Claude Berri, Robert Bresson, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Jean Eustache, Georges Franju, Abel Gance, Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, Pierre Kast, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Jean Rouch, François Truffaut) together with major actors (Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Jean Marais and Françoise Rosay). Foreign filmmakers such as Charles Chaplin and Stanley Kubrick added their support. Protests were organized.
Confrontations followed between young people, largely students, and what they saw as an authoritarian centre-right government, out of touch with the concerns of the younger generation. These demonstrations were precursors of and merged into the widespread student revolt that erupted from March 1968 onwards, escalating into nationwide unrest in May. Before then, the government had backed down over the Cinémathèque, reinstating Langlois as head in April 1968.
After numerous incidents — including multiple relocations from one small screening room to another through the 1950s and a fire in its last premises — the Cinémathèque Française moved to 51, rue de Bercy in the 12th arrondissement of Paris and reopened its doors in a postmodern building designed by Frank Gehry, an American architect. A restaurant on the lower level is open to the public.
The Bibliothèque du Film, which was created in 1992 to show the history of cinema, its production, impact and artistic strength, has recently merged with the Cinémathèque Française.
Cinémathèque Française operates the Musée de la Cinémathèque, formerly known as Musée du Cinéma – Henri Langlois, in the new building.
In celebration of the Centennial of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum and the City Center of Music and Drama in New York co-sponsored "Cinémathèque at the Metropolitan Museum." The exhibition showed seventy films dating from the medium's first seventy-five years on thirty-five consecutive evenings from July 29 to September 3, 1970. The films were selected by Henri Langlois for their significance and contributions to the history of filmmaking, including work from official film industries as well as current and early avant garde directors. The program was the most diverse film exhibition held in the United States to date, and was the Museum's first major undertaking in film.
The Cinémathèque's closing is noted in François Truffaut's 1968 film Stolen Kisses . The Cinémathèque also appears in the Paul Auster 2002 novel The Book of Illusions and the 1998 Harvey Danger song "Private Helicopter."
The Cinématèque and the events surrounding the dismissal of Henri Langlois in 1968 features heavily in Gilbert Adair's 1988 novel The Holy Innocents also known as The Dreamers and in its 2003 film adaptation by Bernardo Bertolucci.
Cahiers du Cinéma is a French film magazine co-founded in 1951 by André Bazin, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. It developed from the earlier magazine Revue du Cinéma involving members of two Paris film clubs—Objectif 49 and Ciné-Club du Quartier Latin.
François Roland Truffaut was a French film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film critic. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry, having worked on over 25 films.
Claude Henri Jean Chabrol was a French film director and a member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s. Like his colleagues and contemporaries Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, Chabrol was a critic for the influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma before beginning his career as a film maker.
Henri Langlois was a French film archivist and cinephile. A pioneer of film preservation, Langlois was an influential figure in the history of cinema. His film screenings in Paris in the 1950s are often credited with providing the ideas that led to the development of the auteur theory.
The New Wave is a French art film movement that emerged in the late 1950s. The movement was characterized by its rejection of traditional filmmaking conventions in favor of experimentation and a spirit of iconoclasm. New Wave filmmakers explored new approaches to editing, visual style, and narrative, as well as engagement with the social and political upheavals of the era, often making use of irony or exploring existential themes. The New Wave is often considered one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema.
Jacques Rivette was a French film director and film critic most commonly associated with the French New Wave and the film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma. He made twenty-nine films, including L'amour fou (1969), Out 1 (1971), Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974), and La Belle Noiseuse (1991). His work is noted for its improvisation, loose narratives, and lengthy running times.
Maurice Ronet was a French film actor, director, and writer.
Marie Dubois was a Parisian-born French actress.
Jean-Charles Tacchella is a French screenwriter and film director. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his film Cousin Cousine (1975), which was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and which was later (1989) remade in a US version starring Ted Danson and titled Cousins.
The 21st Cannes Film Festival was to have been held from 10 to 24 May 1968, before being curtailled due to the turmoil of May 1968 in France.
Jacques Doniol-Valcroze was a French actor, critic, screenwriter, and director. In 1951, Doniol-Valcroze was a co-founder of the renowned film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, along with André Bazin and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. The magazine was initially edited by Doniol-Valcroze between 1951-1957. As critic, he championed numerous filmmakers including Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, and Nicholas Ray. In 1955, then 23-year-old François Truffaut made a short film in Doniol-Valcroze's apartment, Une Visite. Jacques's daughter Florence played a minor part in it.
Une Visite was the first short film made by 23-year-old François Truffaut. It was filmed in Jacques Doniol-Valcroze’s apartment and its crew included Jacques Rivette, Alain Resnais and Truffaut's boyhood friend Robert Lachenay. It was only briefly screened for friends and is the only Truffaut film that has never been available for public viewing since Truffaut was unhappy with it.
Fool's Mate is a 1956 short film directed by Jacques Rivette.
Jean-Louis Richard was a French actor, film director and scriptwriter.
Freddy Buache was a Swiss journalist, cinema critic and film historian. He was the director of the Swiss Film Archive from 1951 to 1996. He was a privatdozent at the University of Lausanne.
Jean Douchet was a French film director, historian, film critic and teacher who began his career in the early 1950s at Gazette du Cinéma and Cahiers du cinema with members of the future French New Wave.
Jacques Rivette was a French film director, screenwriter and film critic. He wrote and directed twenty feature films, including the two-part Joan the Maiden, eight short films and a three-part television documentary. He also acted in small roles and participated in documentaries. After making his first short film, Aux quatre coins, in his hometown of Rouen, Rivette moved to Paris in 1949 to pursue a career in filmmaking. While attending film screenings at Henri Langlois' Cinémathèque Française and other ciné-clubs he gradually befriended many future members of the French New Wave, including François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol. Rivette's association with this group of young cinephiles led to the start of both his filmmaking career and his work in film criticism. In collaboration with his new friends, Rivette made two more short films and worked as a cinematographer and editor on films by Rohmer and Truffaut. He also worked in small roles and as an assistant director to Jean Renoir on French Cancan and Jacques Becker on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. During this period he began writing film criticism for the magazine Gazette du Cinéma and later Cahiers du Cinéma, and was one of the most respected writers by his peers.
This is a bibliography of articles and books by or about the director and film critic Jacques Rivette.
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