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Lady in the DarkIris Barry and the Art of Film$
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Robert Sitton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165785

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165785.001.0001

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(p.345) 34 Hospital
Lady in the Dark

Robert Sitton

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes Iris Barry's major health crisis at end of the 1940s. It is unclear exactly what brought her to the hospital in February of 1949. Perhaps, since she alludes to having had a curettage, it was a polyp removal or possibly an abortion, although the latter was unlikely at her age. She was 54. But while her health was unstable, her career was receiving a welcome boost. Near the end of her stay at Doctors Hospital, Iris received some unexpected news from the French Ambassador in the United States that she had been nominated “Chevalier” in France's National Order of the Legion of Honor. Iris had coordinated with Henri Langlois of the Cinémathèque Française to integrate France into the international film archiving community through the International Federation of Film Archives. Langlois had personally protected many films during the German occupation and made his collection available to Iris, just as Iris had made Museum of Modern Art's films available to him. Many of the films coming from America and shown at the Langlois Cinémathèque influenced the generation of French filmmakers of the New Wave of the 1960s. And many of the titles Iris preserved from France otherwise suffered during the Nazi occupation.

Keywords:   health crisis, Chevalier, France, International Federation of Film Archives, Henri Langlois, Cinémathèque Française

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