Auditorium - DAMSLab > 18:15


Fabie Hagège, Guillaume Namur, Vincent Haasser
Introduced by

Jean Douchet, critico e storico del cinema


Sunday 25/06/2017


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Of the many critics and cineastes to emerge from the French New Wave, 88-year-old Jean Douchet is probably one of the best known in his homeland, but also one of the least read or watched.

That’s because, after joining the “Cahiers du cinéma” during its heyday in the late 1950s, and then serving as deputy editor-in-chief alongside Eric Rohmer until 1963, Douchet would more or less devote the next 50-odd years of his life to teaching […].

Like Confucius or Yoda, Douchet’s body of thought hasn’t been transcribed as much as it has been passed down to a number of disciples, among them Elle producer Said Ben Said and French auteurs Xavier Beauvois, Noemie Lvovsky and Arnaud Desplechin […]. All of them appear in the new documentary Jean Douchet, l’enfant agité, which was made by a trio of young Douchet enthusiasts wishing to give something back to the man who taught them how to love movies and, in a greater sense, how to love life. […] This informative and moving tribute to the critic, actor, director and overall bon vivant mixes interviews, archive footage and a few key film clips to reveal more than a half-century of Douchet-ian thought and activity. […] Douchet, who was born in 1929 in the small city of Arras, started out as a budding young critic with ambitions to make movies himself. But although his short Saint-Germain-des-Prés was included in the New Wave omnibus film Paris vu par… (Six in Paris), he never went on to direct features because, in his own words, they were “too much of a hassle”. (Douchet did however play small parts in a number of his friends’ movies, including a first-ever cameo as the lover of Antoine Doinel’s mother in Truffaut’s The 400 Blows).

But if the critic did not make much of an impact behind the camera, he would change a number of lives in front of the screen when, starting in the late ’60s, he began to ‘teach’ cinema at movie clubs and the prestigious film school l’IDHEC (now La Fémis), screening classics by Orson Welles, Carl Dreyer, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock and Kenji Mizoguchi, to name a few of the auteurs that are part of his canon. […]. At the age of 88, he continues to host sold-out screenings in Paris and elsewhere, allowing younger generations to experience his talks first-hand, while exploring the work of more contemporary auteurs like Tsai Ming-liang and Harmony Korine.

If many French cinephiles are familiar with Douchet’s film clubs, the documentary delves into lesser known parts of a backstory that mirrors his general philosophy about teaching cinema. […] Douchet has shown that the true path to understanding cinema lies less in wracking our brains than in simply sitting back in a theater, relaxing and opening up our minds and hearts.

Jordan Mintzer, “The Hollywood Reporter”, 26 May 2017

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Fabie Hagège, Guillaume Namur, Vincent Haasser. F.: Amine Berrada. M.: Nicolas Ripoche. Mus.: Arthur Dairaine. Int.: Jean Douchet, Arnaud Desplechin, Noémie Lvovsky, Barbet Schroeder, Xavier Beauvois (se stessi). Prod.: Bastien Ehouzan per Kidam, Carlotta Films, Allerton Films. DCP. D.: 90’. Bn e Col.