Unearthing Musidora – Les Vampires Centennial
Dir. Louis Feuillade, France, 1915-16, blu-ray, 415 min., b/w, silent
November 2015 - June 2016 is the 100 year anniversary of the legendary crime thriller Les Vampires (1915) directed by Louis Feuillade and starring the vamp of French cinema, Musidora as the anagrammatical Irma Vep. With 10 episodes rolled out in theaters from November 1915 through June 1916 it was part of the Feuillade trilogy which includes Fantomas (1913) and Judex (1916).
Les Vampires follows the exploits of a brazen Apache gang known as The Vampires who rob the elite of Parisian society. Shot during World War 1, its subtext of the working class versus the ruling class is cloaked in a macabre and ritualistic plot featuring characters with names such as Satanas and Venomous, and episodic titles such as The Severed Head and The Red Codebook.