Louis Feuillade, born in 1873 in the Camargue, near Montpellier, was no one’s idea of a radical, although he ended up making some of the most radical movies—formally and politically, at least by implication—of the early silent era. He was a royalist Catholic with a military background; an ardent follower and defender of bullfighting, a specialty of his region; a fervent partisan of Karl Wilhelm Naundorff, one of the many people claiming to be the “lost dauphin,” Louis XVII. One of his cousins married a princeling, which made him kin to the House of Bourbon. He wrote poems all his life in the style of an academician of the 1880s. When, in 1898, he went “up” to Paris, like a Balzac character from the provinces, he found work as an accountant for a Catholic publishing house. He wrote for royalist and bullfighting journals until, in 1905, he was hired as a screenwriter by the fledgling cinematic production company Gaumont.
Don’t Fence Her In: On Women of the West
A string of important midcentury westerns, including Johnny Guitar and Rancho Notorious, elevated women from their traditionally marginal role in the genre to more potent and central positions.
Blood and Guts in High School
John Fawcett’s 2001 cult classic Ginger Snaps—a highlight of the Criterion Channel’s High School Horror collection—uses the werewolf trope to explore the psychosexual anxieties of female adolescence.
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