Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

An evening’s screening of Louis Feuillade’s Juve contre Fantômas set in motion a rather remarkable sequence of events for me. The viewing produced an essay for a course on French cinema, and in turn an enthusiastic suggestion from the professor, Judith Mayne, that I pursue Feuillade’s films as a dissertation topic. ...

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Introduction: Writing a Feminist Poetic History through the Cinema of Uncertainty

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pp. 1-12

What would it mean to write a feminist history of the cinema? A number of studies have influenced my thinking on this question since I first began working on the crime serials of Louis Feuillade: for example, Sumiko Higashi’s Cecil B. DeMille and American Culture, Judith Mayne’s Directed by Dorothy Arzner, ...

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1. Louis Feuillade and the Cinema of Uncertainty: Scenes of Dislocation in Early Cinema/History

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pp. 13-44

This book is an effort to situate the crime serials of Louis Feuillade within early film history from an explicitly feminist perspective. To a certain extent, I will argue that a series of six films made by Feuillade between the years 1913 and 1920 can be read as one text. ...

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2. The Fantômas Series: Cinematic Vision and the Test of “Immediate Certainty”

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pp. 45-72

The opening moments of the first episode in the Fantômas film series (1913–14) feature a prescient bit of dialogue when the startled crime victim, Princess Danidoff ( Jane Faber), inquires of the well-dressed thief suddenly before her: “Who are you?” This question is, in effect, the distillation of the epic battle that is to be played out in the series ...

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3. “Qui? Quoi? Quand? Où?”: Interrogating Woman in Les vampires and Judex

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pp. 73-116

The recursive patterns of repetition and reversal are accelerated in Feuillade’s next film series, Les vampires (1915–16), where the blocks of activities and number of characters significantly multiply in a seemingly random fashion. Over ten episodes, Les vampires follows the exploits of Philippe Guérande (Edouard Mathé), ...

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4. Stigma and Stigmata: The Cries and Cure of the Fantastic Narrative

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pp. 117-144

With Judex, Feuillade’s serials make a decided shift toward a more strongly pronounced melodramatic narrative structure. This movement is logical in that melodrama, like the mode of the fantastic, is preoccupied with questions of knowledge and visibility. ...

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Afterword: The Cinematic Legacy of Feuillade and Musidora and a Different Way of Knowing

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pp. 145-152

Olivier Assayas’s invocation of Irma Vep in a 1996 film is but one of many repetitions of the Irma/Musidora character in cinema history. Indeed, the figure is one that haunts not just Feuillade’s texts but marks a significant strain of French cinema and can even be seen in other national cinema contexts (e.g., Fritz Lang’s Spiders, 1919). ...

Notes

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pp. 153-170

Works Cited

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pp. 171-180

Index

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pp. 181-190

Back Cover

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pp. 204-204