Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (3)

Bandits en automobile
Épisode 1: La bande de l’auto grise
Épisode 2: Hors-la-loi
R: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. K: Lucien Andriot. D: Henri Gouget, Camille Bardou, Karlmos, Josette Andriot. P: Eclair. Fr 1912

“In 1913 early French film pioneer Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset died abruptly at the age of 51. His filmography of about 60 titles includes all film genres but is today mostly lost. He was particularly interested in detective or crime genres and with series like Nick Carter and Zigomar he is considered as one of the creators of the serial. The spectacular siege of Jules Bonnot’s Gang at Choisy-le-Roi near Paris on April 28th 1912 inspired Jasset to make this Bandits en automobile. French audiences recognized immediately the resemblances with the actual Bonnot Gang, a reason for which the film was prohibited in many cities.”

“One lends only to the rich: that is why these two films based on the deeds of the famous anarchist Bonnot and produced by Eclair in April and May of 1912 are normally attributed to Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset: L’ Auto grise (300 meters) and Hors la loi (420 meters). They were of course news stories reconstructed according to the best tradition of the genre, especially Bonnot’s death at Choisy-le-Roi. The actors who play out Crime and Punishment in these two films were not actors normally seen hanging around the Epinay studios and were not even mentioned in Eclair’s ads in corporate newspapers. (…)  Bandits en automobile was, in fact, prohibited in many cities in France. Since the film censorship board did not exist before the war of 1914, it was up to local authorities to prohibit performances or films that they deemed harmful to public order. The deeds of the Bonnot gang would have left Jasset with too little room for his imagination: he was much more at ease with Zigomar at the heels of the man at the center of a second series of adventures: the detective star of Éclair, Nick Carter.”
XXXIX Mostra Internazionale

“The most immediate influence of Jasset’s work was seen in the films of Louis Feuillade, who was working at Gaumont and took the film serial to new heights with Fantômas (1913–14), Les Vampires (1915–16) and Judex (1916). These variously developed the roles of the resourceful detective, the master-criminal, and the mysterious woman of action who had previously appeared in Jasset’s Nick Carter, Zigomar and Protéa films.  The model of crime and adventure series and serials developed by Jasset and Feuillade was taken up elsewhere in Europe during the next few years: Dr Gar el Hama (1911) in Denmark; Lieutenant Daring (1911) in the UK; Tigris (1913) and the Za La Mort series (1914–1924) in Italy. The Pathé company’s American branch took the serial to new levels of worldwide popularity with its production of The Perils of Pauline (1914). Jasset also contributed to early film theory with a journal article in which he analysed film style and the national characteristics of cinema.”


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