Feuillade, Louis


Feuillade, Louis
(1873-1925)
   Director, film pioneer, producer, and screenwriter. Louis Feuillade was born in Hérault in southern France to a bourgeois family of wine merchants. The young Feuillade received a traditional, Catholic education and had a strong interest in literature. He wrote poems and short articles for the local press and dreamed of becoming a writer. Upon leaving school, he went briefly into the family business. In 1898, however, after the death of his father and the failure of the family business, he went to Paris to become a journalist.
   In Paris, Feuillade struggled at first, but ultimately found work writing for the Revue mondiale. He also began writing screenplays, perhaps to earn extra money to support his wife and daughter, and he began to sell to film studios, including Gaumont, in about 1905. Alice Guy hired Feuillade on as a screenwriter at Gaumont in 1906, and he replaced her as head of production when she left that post in 1907.
   During his time at Gaumont, Feuillade made or participated in the making of some seven hundred films. His enormous catalog includes an impressive array of titles including films à truc or trick films (many of them copies of the films of Georges Méliès), mystery films, farces, dramas, historical dramas, and biblical dramas. Among the films he directed at Gaumont are L 'Amour et Psyché (1908), Le Journal animé (1908), La Légende de Daphné (1908), La Vie à Rebours (1908), Aveugle de Jérusalem (1909), La Cigale et la fourmi (1909), Le Collier de la reine (1909), Benvenuto Cellini (1910), Esther (1910), Le Festin de Baltazar (1910), Aux lions, les chrétiens! (1911), Le Fils du locuste (1911), Quand les feuilles tombent (1911), Le Trust ou les batailles de l'argent (1911), André Chenier (1912), Androclès (1912), Le Bracelet de la marquise (1912), L'Homme de proie (1912), La Maison des lions (1912), L'Agonie de Byzance (1913), Erreur tragique (1913), La Mort de Lucrèce (1913), Le Revenant (1913), Le Calvaire (1914),Manon de Montmartre (1914), Le Fer à cheval (1914), Le Sosie (1914), Les Fiançailles d'Agénor (1916), Les Fourberies de pinguoin (1916), Notre pauvre coeur (1917), La Femme Fatale (1917), Aide-toi (1918), Vendemiaire (1918), Barrabas (1919), Le Nocturne (1919), Les Deux gamines (1920), La Fille bien gardée (1921), L'Orpheline (1921), Parisette (1921), Le Fils du flibustier (1922), Vindicta (1923), Lucette (1924), Le Stigmate (1924), and Pierrot-Pierrette (1924).
   Feuillade is best known, however, for his serials, which he began developing shortly after he took over production at Gaumont. His first serials were rather mundane and included comedy serials, such as the Bébé series, which ran from 1912 to 1914, and the Bout de Zan series that also ran from 1912 to 1914. He also did a realistic series titled La Vie telle qu'elle est, which ran in 1913, and in which his technique of social realism or "fantastic realism" is often seen as a precursor to Le Réalisme poétique or poetic realism. The best known of all of Feuillade's serials, however, and probably the best known of his films are his crime serials, particularly the Fantômas series, which ran in 1913 and 1914, and the Vampires serial, which ran in 1915.
   The Fantômas series, which consists of five stories totaling twenty-one episodes, was based on the best-selling serial novels by Pierre Sylvestre and Marcel Allain. The films chronicle the activities of the criminal mastermind Fantômas (René Navarre), master manipulator and a master of disguise. They center on Fantômas's crime sprees and the efforts of his enemy, Inspector Juve (Edmond Bréon), to put an end to them. Les Vampires is similar to Fantômas in its subject matter and poetics. In place of a criminal mastermind, Feuillade offers a criminal gang. In place of Inspector Juve, Feuillade offers the journalist Philippe Guerande, but the violence and instability that underlie the everyday world remain.
   Feuillade made several other series subsequent to Fantômas and Les Vampires, the most notable being Judex, which ran in 1916 and 1917, Tih-Minh, which ran in 1918, and Barrabas, which ran in 1918. He remained as head of production at the Gaumont Studios in Paris until his death (from exhaustion, it seems) in 1925. He continued to direct films, as his contract stipulated, right up to the end. Feuillade's films, particularly his crime serials, have been experiencing something of a revival in recent years. They have been released on DVD and are screened at film festivals throughout the world. This should be of little surprise, the world we find ourselves in today being as chaotic and unstable as the world in which Feuillade lived, the spirit of which he so adeptly captured.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

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  • Feuillade, Louis — (1873 1925)    Director, film pioneer, producer, and screenwriter. Louis Feuillade was born in Hérault in southern France to a bourgeois family of wine merchants. The young Feuillade received a traditional, Catholic education and had a strong… …   Guide to cinema

  • Feuillade, Louis — ▪ French director born Feb. 19, 1873, Lunel, France died Feb. 25/26, 1925, Nice       motion picture director whose internationally popular screen serials (serial) were the most influential French films of the period around World War I.… …   Universalium

  • Feuillade, Louis — • ФЁЙА Д (Feuillade) Луи (19.2.1873 26.2.1925)    франц. режиссёр. Журналист по профессии, Ф. в 1906 поступил на студию Гомона сценаристом и режиссёром, затем стал её гл. руководителем. Отдав дань жанру комич. ф. погонь ( Погоня за париком ,… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Feuillade, Louis — (February 20, 1873, Lunel, Hérault, France February 26, 1925, Nice, Alpes Maritimes, France)    The son of a wine broker, he was educated at the Catholic seminary of Carcassonne. After completing his military service in the Fourth Dragoons… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors

  • Feuillade, Louis — ► (1874 1925) Realizador cinematográfico francés y uno de los pioneros del séptimo arte. Empezó dirigiendo películas cómicas, a las que siguieron las series que le dieron mayor fama: La vida tal cual, Fantomas y Los vampiros …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Feuillade — Feuillade, Louis …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Feuillade — Louis Feuillade Louis Jean Feuillade (* 19. Februar 1873 in Lunel (Hérault); † 26. Februar 1925 in Nizza) war ein französischer Filmregisseur der Stummfilmzeit. Feuillade arbeitet zunächst mit seinem Vater und seinem Bruder in der familieneigenen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • FEUILLADE (L.) — FEUILLADE LOUIS (1873 1925) L’œuvre de Louis Feuillade est considérable: près de cinq cents films, compte tenu d’une centaine de négatifs détruits. C’est un précurseur de cette école française du cinéma que l’on a coutume de désigner sous… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Louis D'Aubusson, Duc De La Feuillade — (1673 1725), lieutenant général en 1705, il est fait maréchal de France en 1724. Fils de François III d Aubusson, maréchal duc de La Feuillade (1631 1691) qui fut gouverneur du Dauphiné et qui est l homme qui a élevé à ses frais la statue… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louis d'Aubusson de La Feuillade — Louis d Aubusson, duc de La Feuillade Louis d Aubusson, duc de La Feuillade (1673 1725), lieutenant général en 1705, il est fait maréchal de France en 1724. Fils de François III d Aubusson, maréchal duc de La Feuillade (1631 1691) qui fut… …   Wikipédia en Français


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