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.
The Uncharted Frontier: Will Rogers in John Ford’s America
In his collaborations with Ford, the beloved star—the highest-paid Hollywood actor of the early 1930s—played multidimensional characters that challenged assumptions about Native Americans.
Kazuo Hara’s Dedicated Lives
In his uncompromising chronicles of modern Japanese society, the celebrated filmmaker shows a deep understanding of both larger-than-life individuals and collectives of ordinary citizens.
Antifascism on the Home Front
A landmark of leftist documentary filmmaking, Leo Hurwitz’s Strange Victory examines the hypocrisy of a nation that defeated fascism abroad while maintaining an apartheid society at home.
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