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Louis Feuillade (1873 - 1925)
Related: French cinema - Fantômas
Movie poster for Fantômas (1913 - 1914) serial
Louis Feuillade (February 19, 1873 - February 25, 1925) was a French film director from the silent era.
Originally a wine merchant and journalist, Feuillade began his film career at Gaumont in 1905. He directed several hundred short and serial films from 1906 to 1924. His most important works include three convoluted serial thrillers, Fantomas (1913), Les Vampires (1915), and Judex (1916). He is credited with developing many of the thriller techniques used famously by Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, and others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Feuillade [Apr 2005]
A maker of short films from 1906, Feuillade is today remembered for the set of serial thrillers he directed around the time of World War I. Fantomas, Les Vampires and Judex - all studies of criminal gangs plotting sedition and anarchy in France - spread convoluted, chaotic narratives over their many episodes. Feuillade's technique is in fact archaic, especially in its editing, but there's some truth to the claim that if Griffith pioneered the technique of narrative cinema, Feuillade pioneered its most abiding themes. Lang, Hitchcock and the whole tradition of the thriller movie are rooted in Feuillade's unpredictable, sinister world. --Alex Jacoby, http://www.thecontext.com/docs/2384.html
Les Vampires (1915) - Louis Feuillade
Les Vampires (1915) - Louis Feuillade [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Les Vampires is a 1915 10-part silent movie. It was written and directed by Louis Feuillade and stars Musidora as "Irma Vep". It is set in Paris.
There are 10 episodes, most 45 minutes long.
The story of the 1996 movie Irma Vep features an attempt to remake Les Vampires. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Vampires [Dec 2005]
This legendary seven-hour silent French serial, one of the earliest and most original gangster films, combines realism and fantasy. Written and directed by Louis Feuillade, Les Vampires concerns an intrepid reporter's pursuit of a strange gang of jewel thieves terrorizing Paris. The gang ambitiously seeks political, psychological, and sexual domination of the city's social elite, with the seductive Irma Vep (an anagram of "vampire") as its brazen leader. While slow going at first, the 10-part serial becomes more and more fascinating with each episode, thanks in large part to the alluring Musidora as Irma Vep. Because of her many guises and frightful charms, she truly becomes a vampire of sorts. Feuillade achieves a subversive, nightmarish atmosphere amid the everyday goings-on of the city. Filmed on the streets and back alleys of World War I Paris, the 1915 picture was a huge commercial success, though temporarily banned by Paris's chief of police for glamorizing crime. --Bill Desowitz, Amazon.com
The guiding spirit of a secret crime syndicate in the most famous cinema serial of all time, rightfully claimed as their own by the surrealists. A six-hour orgy of evil, constant surprises, masked shapely criminals in leotards climbing vertical walls and escap- ing from impossible situations; an anti-establishment paroxysm with larger philosophical overtones. The sudden eruption of organized evil into bourgeois society is strangely contemporary. -- Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel
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