â¢ Camera Obscura sively to the black-leotard-clad icon of Irma Vep (Musidoraâs character from Feuilladeâs Les vampires), but also to this quite explicit act of âwritingâ a life âas good as a novel.â Moreover, this process of âwritingâ or inscribing is best not read as a linear history. That is to say, it is not simply the case that Musidora becomes a âstarâ of French cinema and French cultural history because of Les vampires (and then turns to her own independent projects), but rather that the traces of her own authorial marks both pre- and postdate her work with the Feuillade/ Gaumont troupe. Thus, as ï¬lm historians and ï¬lm theorists begin to reassemble the narrative(s) of Musidoraâs career on the basis of these traces, what we discern about Irma Vep/Musidora takes on a life that rewrites our understanding of the Feuillade serial and is worthy of life in a novel, or perhaps more to the point, in the cinema. More speciï¬cally, it is the special relationship between the very openness of the cinematic image, particularly in the silent era, that is represented, or, perhaps more accurately, embodied in Irma Vepâs black bodysuit, and Musidoraâs inscription within that openness
Camera Obscura – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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