Leisure Time Sets “Henri Langlois” and “4” For U.S. Release
by Brian Brooks
Jacques Richard‘s documentary “Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque” has been acquired by Leisure Time Features for U.S. distribution, the company announced Monday, also announcing a deal for “4,” by Ilya Khrzhanovdky. A 128-minute version of the “Langlois” doc will premiere at the Film Forum in New York City on October 12 for a two week run followed by a national release. The film’s original 3 1/2 hour version, which screened at Cannes, Toronto, and Telluride film festivals, and the shorter one will be available from the company.
The doc, which Richard spent seven years making, follows the story of pioneering French film curator and preservationist Henri Langlois. The film is an assemblage of vintage film clips and interviews with Langlois and the directors of the New Wave whom he inspired. Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Alfred Hitchcock, Eric Rohmer, and Jack Valenti are some of the film luminaries who appear on camera testifying to Langlois’ influence on film culture. There is also a series of film clips from Melies to Godard, which trace the history of cinema and provide a philosophic overview fostered by Langlois who also saved many film classics from destruction as well as founded the world’s first film museum.
In addition to “Langlois,” Leisure Time, based in New York, also acquired the award-winning Russian film “4,” by Ilya Khrzhanovdky, which took the Tiger Award for best film in Rotterdam and the best new director award at the Seattle Film Festival. The film is described as an “apocalyptic and dizzying journey through the dark heart of ‘new’ Russia. Three characters embark on disparate paths through a nightmarish world of clandestine cloning, masticating crones, wild dogs and decaying meat.” Leisure Time plans a theatrical release early next year.
Other upcoming releases from the company include “Innocence” by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, based on a 19th century novella by Frank Wedekind, this autumn.