Posts Tagged France

Back Into the Shadows

The final installment of Mezzanotte’s IL FAIT PEUR! series. All six episodes are archived here.


Immediately after completing Les Vampires, Feuillade threw himself into his next feature, another original crime serial called Judex, using most of the same cast as Les Vampires. The slow move toward domestic melodrama that crept into the end of Les Vampires was front and center in Judex, partly because Feuillade was under heavy fire from critics who felt Les Vampires was simply too ghoulish, too in love with its criminals, too subversive. But largely it was because as 1914 wound down, it was becoming clearer and clearer that this skirmish between France and Germany – and subsequently Great Britain, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Turkey, so on and so forth – wasn’t going to be a quick and clean affair.

Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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Race Revenge: I Spit On Your Grave

This might not be the movie you’re thinking of…


Cinematic adaptations of books have a long history of being derided by the source material’s author, but few have as dramatic a claim to this dubious honor as this adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1946 novel J’irai cracher sur vos tombes. Vian had been warring with the production team. He was so dissatisfied with the way his material was being adapted that he demanded his name be removed from the film. Despite railing against the film, he was gracious (or morbidly curious) enough to attend the premiere on June 23, 1959. As the now famous story goes, Vian stood up minutes into the screening to shout out his angry disapproval of what he was seeing. He then, suddenly, dropped dead.

Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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While I was Busy Cutting Off Faces


OK, running more than a little bit late for the “Quelle horreur!” round table, but…well…some French excuse. I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve finally pulled my act together and completed my entry.

Eyes Without a Face/Les yeux sans visage

feat“With a few exceptions scattered throughout the past hundred years or so of feature filmmaking, the French never really embraced the horror film. Instead, the French response was cinema fantastique. Certainly it had elements of horror, sometimes more overt than others, but more traditionally recognizable characteristics of horror were mixed into a dreamy mist that also included romance, science fiction, mystery, and melodrama all spun with a disregard for logical narrative structure and progression in favor of a dreamlike (or nightmare) quality. Of the many films that make up the body of cinema fantastique, few have developed an enduring reputation, good and bad, quite like that of Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage, aka Eyes without a Face.

Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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