Jess Franco :
Énergies du fantasme

> Author :

Stéphane du Mesnildot

> Publication  :

octobre 2004


1961: The Awful Dr. Orlof appears on the screens. This true expressionist nightmare featuring unprecedented glimpses of sadism and violence, which has captured horror moviegoers, is the fourth film of a young director from Madrid. Jess Franco has rapidly become a cult filmmaker, increasing relentlessly the abundance of his work. In his movies, we come across crazy surgeons, sadistic prison wardresses, the Cagliostro wizard, Frankenstein and Dracula, the Venus in furs, the marchioness De Sade, black, perverse or bare-breasted countesses... Until the crisis of the European exploitation cinema at the beginning of the 80's, Jess Franco was the uncontested king of the Cinema Bis and local theatres, shooting recklessly one after another, horror films, adaptations of the eroticism and fantastic classics, hereby anticipating the big pornographic wave. But for the author of Vampyros Lesbos, the cinema of genre represented at first a laboratory of narrative and visual experiments. This amateur of jazz continuously mixed popular cinema with the underground, classicism and avant-garde. Free from any taboos, his films are Dionysiac parties whose queen is the fetishist figure of the female vampire. The result ? A carnal art expressing itself plainly without suffering from the boundaries of the performance, the happening and the physical cinema.It is these many orientations that the book describes, analyzes, interacts, using cinema as well as literature, with great emphasis given to the vampire figure, from the Dracula of Bram Stoker to the Carmilla of Sheridan Le Fanu, referring to the works of Sade and Sacher-Masoch so as to describe as accurately as possible the fantasy device so specific to Jess Franco.

Author of many articles on Brian de Palma, Lucio Fulci, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Otto Preminger, Stéphane du Mesnildot was one of the initiators of the cinema magazine Admiranda. Editor at the monthly Le Technicien du film, he also wrote articles for different publications such as L'Écran Fantastique, Simulacres, Cinémathèque and was involved in the creation of Exploding, magazine devoted to experimental cinema. He is listed in the summaries of the film by Jean Vigo L'Atalante (2000) and Jeune, dure et pure ! Une histoire du cinéma d'avant-garde et expérimental en France (2001). Stephane du Mesnildot has also directed two short-films on the theme of Vampirism, Carmilla (2000) and Lacrima (2001).
    • 160 pages
    • 190 images noir & blanc et couleur
    • 18 €
    • ISBN 2-915083-11-8