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.
Room Tone 2023
Look back on the collaborations that defined our year, captured in this compilation of moments that our crew shared with the artists, critics, and scholars who talked with us about the movies.
For the Love of the Con
The best movies about con artists highlight something their makers share with the fraudsters they depict: an intuitive sense of people’s desires and a talent for ruthless manipulation.
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