1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Wiki

Les Vampires.jpeg

#4. Les Vampires (The Vampires)

  • Year: 1915
  • Country: France
  • Production: Gaumont, 440m B&W Silent
  • Director: Louis Feuillade
  • Screenplay: Louis Feuillade
  • Music: Robert Israel
  • Cast: Musidora, Edouard Mathe, Marcel Levesque

Abridged Book Description

Louis Feuillade's legendary opus has been cited as a landmark movie serial, a precursor of the deep-focus aesthetic later advanced by Jean Renoir and Orson Welles, and a close cousin of the surrealist movement, but its strongest relationship is to the development of the movie thriller.Segmented into ten loosely connected parts that lack cliffhanger endings, vary widely in length, and were released at irregular intervals, Les Vampires fall somewhere between a film series and a film serial. The convoluted, often inconsistent plot centers on a flamboyant gang of Parisian criminals, the Vampires, and their dauntless opponent, the reporter Philippe Guerande (Edouard Mathe)... The plot is built around a series of tour-de-force reversals, involving deceptive appearances on both sides of the law: "dead" characters come to life, pillars of society (a priest, a judge, a policeman) turn out to be Vampires, and Vampires are revealed to be law enforcers operating in disguise. It is Feuillade's ability to create, on an extensive and imaginative scale, a double world - at once weighty and dreamlike, recognizably familiar and excitingly strange - that is of central importance to the evolution of the movie thriller and marks him as a major pioneer of the form.