Roger Leenhardt

Last updated

Roger Leenhardt (23 July 1903 – 4 December 1985) was a French writer and filmmaker.

Contents

Early life

Born in a bourgeois Protestant family, this brilliant student of philosophy was very soon fascinated by cinema. Through a cousin, he started working for the newsreel program Éclair Journal and in 1934 set up his own production company with René Zuber, "Les Films du Compas," later known as, "Roger Leenhardt Films.”

Career

As a critic in the journal Esprit , he was considered one of the most perceptive observers of pre-war France and strongly influenced André Bazin and the entire "Nouvelle Vague.”

Thanks to his series of articles known as "La petite école du spectateur," cinema became considered as an art and a language in its own right. Leenhardt also contributed to other journals, such as Fontaine, Les Lettres Françaises, and l'Ecran français, in which in 1948 he delivered his famous cry, "Down with Ford! Long Live Wyler!"

In 1949, he fostered the creation of the cinema club Objectif 49 of which he was the co-president with Robert Bresson and Jean Cocteau. Destined to promote a new cinema d'auteur, the club resulted in the creation in Biarritz of the Festival of Cursed Films [Festival des Films Maudits]. Beginning in the 1950s he presided over the French Association for the Promotion of Cinema [Association française pour la diffusion du cinéma] which organized a traveling festival, Cinéma Days [Les Journées du cinéma] (1953–1960). Finally, in 1955 Leenhardt participated in the creation in Tours of the International Days of Film [Journées internationales du film] which became the Festival of Tours. Specialized in short films, the festival brought together the foremost filmmakers, including François Truffaut, Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, Jacques Demy, Roman Polanski, Robert Enrico, and others.

His documentary works are numerous and include the creation of more than 60 short films and the production of a similar number. There are two main categories of his work: Portraits of great writers (e.g. François Mauriac, Paul Valéry, Victor Hugo, etc.), and portraits of famous painters (e.g., Monet, Pissarro, Bazile, etc.). He also made a film on the origins of photography (Daguerre ou la Naissance de la photographie, 1964) and another on the invention of cinema (Naissance du cinéma, 1946), a masterpiece of pedagogical and intelligence. Privileging his artist vision, Leenhardt made only three feature-length fiction films: Les Dernières Vacances  [ fr ] (1948), Le Rendez-vous de minuit  [ fr ] (1961), and, for television, Une fille dans la montagne (1964).

Moreover, Roger Leenhardt appeared in three films as an actor. In Les Dernières vacances, he is the teacher. Jean-Luc Godard chose him to be the character "Intelligence" in Une femme mariée (1964) and François Truffaut chose him as the publisher in L'Homme qui aimait les femmes (1977).

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">François Truffaut</span> French film director (1932–1984)

François Roland Truffaut was a French filmmaker, actor, and critic. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the French New Wave. With a career of more than 25 years, he is an icon of the French film industry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claude Chabrol</span> French film director (1930–2010)

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">French New Wave</span> c. 1960s movement in French cinema

The New Wave, also called the French 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">René Clair</span> French filmmaker and writer (1898–1981)

René Clair, born René-Lucien Chomette, was a French filmmaker and writer. He first established his reputation in the 1920s as a director of silent films in which comedy was often mingled with fantasy. He went on to make some of the most innovative early sound films in France, before going abroad to work in the UK and USA for more than a decade. Returning to France after World War II, he continued to make films that were characterised by their elegance and wit, often presenting a nostalgic view of French life in earlier years. He was elected to the Académie Française in 1960. Clair's best known films include Un chapeau de paille d'Italie, Sous les toits de Paris, Le Million (1931), À nous la liberté (1931), I Married a Witch (1942), and And Then There Were None (1945).

<i>A Married Woman</i> 1964 French film

A Married Woman is a 1964 French drama film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, his eighth feature film.

Claude Autant-Lara was a French film director, screenwriter, set designer and costume designer who worked in films for over 50 years. His career was frequently marked by controversy, and in his late 80s he was elected to the European Parliament as a member for the far-right French National Front.

Daniel Boulanger was a French novelist, playwright, poet and screenwriter. He has also played secondary roles in films and was a member of the Académie Goncourt from 1983 until his death. He was born in Compiègne, Oise.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Claude Brialy</span> French actor and director

Jean-Claude Brialy was a French actor and film director.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luc Moullet</span> French film critic and director

Luc Moullet is a French film critic and filmmaker, and a member of the Nouvelle Vague or French New Wave. Moullet's films are known for their humor, anti-authoritarian leanings and rigorously primitive aesthetic, which is heavily influenced by his love of American B-movies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marie Dubois</span> French actress

Marie Dubois was a Parisian-born French actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Guy Marchand</span> French actor, musician and singer (1937–2023)

Guy Marchand was a French actor, musician, and singer. He appeared in over 100 films in over 30 years, but was best known for his role as the fictional television private detective Nestor Burma.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1968 Cannes Film Festival</span> 21st film festival at Cannes; cut short due to protests

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jacques Doniol-Valcroze</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Claude Grumberg</span> French playwright and author

Jean-Claude Grumberg is a French playwright and author of children's books.

Paulette Dubost was a French actress who began her career at the age of 7 at the Paris Opera.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jacques Rivette bibliography</span>

This is a bibliography of articles and books by or about the director and film critic Jacques Rivette.

Jacques Bernard was a French actor. His mother, Josyane, was a motion picture actress active from the end of the 1920s until the beginning of sound film. He appeared in Les Enfants terribles (1950) by Jean-Pierre Melville and Darling Caroline (1951). He was born in Paris.

François Porcile is a French film director, essayist, film historian and musicologist.

Alain Mottet was a French actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pierre-André Boutang</span> French filmmaker (1937–2008)

Pierre-André Boutang was a French documentary filmmaker, producer and director. He was one of the leaders of the Franco-German channel Arte as well as of La Sept previously.