One of my favorite of the early silent directors, Louis Feuillade, made a big splash in France with Fantômas, five interlinked feature films (each running between fifty and ninety minutes) based on a series of novels about the eponymous master criminal, one of film history's first anti-heroes. Feuillade alone of the great early directors anticipated the chief maladies of the coming century—violence, anxiety, paranoia, alienation—and even this century's scourge, terrorism.
His film serials Les Vampires, Judex and Tih Minh directly influenced filmmakers as diverse as Luis Buñuel, Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock. Throw in the fact that Feuillade's films are extraordinarily entertaining—not just as film history but in a 21st century sense—and he winds up, along with Charlie Chaplin, as my favorite director of the first three decades of film history (1888-1918).
Comedy at Midnight
1 hour ago