The most caustically modern of all the pioneering early film directors, Louis Feuillade's silent suspense serials convey the overwhelming feeling of nightmares escaping into the waking world. A glove made out of skin, a boa constrictor coming in through a bedroom window, blood spurting out of a wall, masks, disguises, stolen jewels, secret compartments, masked balls. These are the raw materials of his work. LES VAMPIRES' labrynthine plot is stretched across ten delirious episodes and follows the exploits of a vast Parisian criminal orginization called The Vampires led by the beautiful and terrifying Irma Vep as they commit forgeries, burglaries, bombings, and the decapitation of law enforcement officers. 100 years on, it's still completely absorbing.
"Feuillade's cinema is very close to dreams—therefore it's perhaps the most realistic." - Alain Resnais