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Related: French cinema - 1913 - 1914 - Louis Feuillade
Influential to: Dada - Surrealism
Movie poster for Fantômas (1913 - 1914) serial
The silent film pioneer Louis Feuillade directed five films based on the Fantômas series, appearing in 1913-1914. They are regarded as masterpieces of silent film and are often considered to be superior to the novels themselves. His later serial Les Vampires, which concerns a mysterious crime syndicate known as "The Vampires," is reminiscent of the Fantômas series in many respects, and generally considered superior to the earlier films. Both sets of films have been released on video. A number of subsequent series of Fantômas films have been made, including one series starring Louis de Funes.
The Fantômas novels and the subsequent films were highly regarded by the French avant-garde of the day, particularly by the surrealists. Blaise Cendrars called the series "the modern Aeneid"; Guillaume Apollinaire said that "from the imaginative standpoint Fantômas is one of the richest works that exist." The painter René Magritte and the surrealist poet and novelist Robert Desnos both produced works alluding to the novels or the subsequent films. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantomas [Apr 2005]
Spring Heeled Jack
Spring Heeled Jack as depicted by Abraham Lincoln - English penny dreadful (c. 1890)
image sourced here.
A penny dreadful is the British equivalent of a dime novel
Spring Heeled Jack (also Springheel Jack, Spring-heel Jack, etc.) is a character said to have existed in England during the Victorian era. The first recorded claimed sighting of Spring Heeled Jack occurred in 1837. Later sightings were reported from all over England, from London up to Sheffield and Liverpool, but they were especially prevalent in suburban London and later in the Midlands, where they peaked between the 1850s and 1880s. Although some unconfirmed reports claim that he could still be active, he is generally believed to have disappeared after 1904, the year of the last recorded incident. Many theories have been proposed to ascertain his nature and identity, none of which have been capable of clarifying the subject completely, and the phenomenon still remains unexplained.
The story of Spring Heeled Jack gained immense popularity in its time due to the tales of his bizarre appearance and his capacity to perform extraordinary leaps, to the point that it transcended the role of a mere paranormal phenomenon and attained the status of urban legend. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Heeled_Jack [Jun 2005]
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