The French filmmaker’s landmark crime serial, “Fantômas” (1913-1914), is coming to Blu-ray (Kino Lorber, $49.95) in what promises to be one of the most exciting releases of 2016. The 4K restoration, produced by Gaumont and the Centre National du Cinéma, in collaboration
with the Cinémathèque Française, to celebrate the films’ 100th anniversary, will be available Jan. 5.
Based on the French pulp novellas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, “Fantômas” stars René Nacarre as the titular “assassin in black,” pursued over the course of five features by the indefatigable Inspector Juve (Edmund Bréon) and his friend, journalist Jérôme Fandor
(Georges Melchior). Feuillade, whose serials “Les Vampires” (1915) and “Judex” (1916) confirmed him as a master of the form, deserves consideration alongside Fritz Lang (“Dr. Mabuse”) as a pioneer in the long-form possibilities of the cinema.
In addition to the films—”Fantômas in the Shadow of the Guillotine,” “Juve vs. Fantômas,” “The Murderous Corpse,” “Fantômas vs. Fantômas,” and “The False Magistrate”—Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray features two audio commentaries by film historian David Kalat, a
short documentary, “Louis Feuillade: Master of Many Forms,” two short films by Feuillade, “The Nativity” (1910) and “The
Dwarf” (1912), and an animated gallery of cover artwork from the