Les Documents Cinématographiques is a Paris based French film archive that was created in 1930 as a production company by the legendary filmmaker Jean Painlevé to produce his films independently. Since Painlevé’s death in 1989, it has evolved into a film archive in pursuit of preserving and restoring his films and other rare classics like the works of Louis Delluc, Jean Vigo and Georges Rouquier. Recently, the archive has announced that it is raising funds and support on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to restore and save four important films by Jean Painlevé, and it is welcoming everyone to contribute.
Jean Painlevé was an iconic filmmaker of the twentieth century, who was known worldwide for his films on marine life, underwater photography and microscopic imaging presented in the dramatic form. Inspired by the early cinematic innovations of Jean Commandon and Étienne-Jules Marey, he made more than 200 films in career spanning 60 years. These films range from fiction to documentary and scientific research to surrealist nightmarish landscapes.
Painlevé’s contemporaries were the great surrealists such as Man Ray, Luis Bunuel and Alexander Calder. He was also friends with Sergei Eisenstein who wrote to him in a letter that: “You alone stand as competitor to Our Lady of Lourdes, where miracles are concerned…”
Later, Jean-Luc Godard said : “There would have been no New Wave without Painlevé and his submersible camera”.
“But he never belonged to any movement,” says Brigitte Berg, the director of Les Documents CInématographiques. “He was a maverick in a way, and he would often disagree with the official dogma; he was very much a libertarian.”
His work is an important part of not only the history of cinema but also scientific research. Painlevé was voted as one of the most influential filmmakers by FIAF on their centenary of cinema survey in 1995.
The Indiegogo Campaign is located on the web at:
www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-save-4-films-by-jean-painleve and backers from around the world can support this project by making generous pledges and donations. The goal of this project is to raise a sum of EUR 58000 to save four films: The Hermit Crab (1929), Acera or the Witches’ Dance (1972), Hyas and Stenorhynchus (1931) and Diatoms (1968). There are several rare and collectible perks from the Jean Painlevé archives being offered for the backers on Indiegogo. More details are available on the Indiegogo campaign page of the project.
About This Project
Les Documents Cinématographiques is an organisation founded by Jean Painlevé in 1930 to produce his films independently. After his death in 1989, they transformed into an archive preserving not only his work and also landmark films of French and world cinema. They have restored and reintroduced to the world, among others, the works of Louis Delluc, Jean Vigo, Georges Rouquier and Marcel L’Herbier.
Company Name: Les Documents Cinématographiques
Contact Person: Brigitte Berg
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