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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Vep, Irma. Irma Vep was created by the French creators Louis Feuillade (BarrabasJudex) and Georges Meirs (Walter Clark, William Tharps) and appeared in the film serial Les Vampires (1915).

Irma Vep is ostensibly a cabaret singer, but her real identity is as the most prominent member of a gang of criminals, “Les Vampires,” who terrorize Paris. She is apprehended and after a failed rescue attempt by Satanas, the leader of Les Vampires, she is killed.

* I'm including Les Vampires in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of the cinematic qualities of the film. The writing on Les Vampires is arguably above-average for a French silent serial. But what sets the film apart and earns it entry into the Best of the Encyclopedia list is the directing, the frame composition, the editing, the everything-besides-the-writing-and-acting parts of the film. Louis Feuillade knew how to shoot a film effectively, but Les Vampires, though initially a box office failure, has come to be both popular and critically esteemed. The avant-garde techniques shown in the film, the thriller movie elements in Les Vampires, and the individual scenes (like the one seen above) whose composition plays out like something out of a High Art opera or perhaps legend, all are on display in Les Vampires, making it one of the classics of French silent cinema and one of the best entries (for it is definitely a crime movie) in this Encyclopedia. Highly recommended. 

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