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JUDEX

France / Italy, 1963 (MIFF 1968, Programme 23)

Director: Georges Franju

Judex is a homage to the past in the form of a remake of Louis Feuillade's twelve episode serial of 1916. As an affectionate tribute to this forgotten genius whose films numbered about 550. Franju has reverently and meticulously recaptured the acting styles, costumes and flat, two dimensional sets of the twilight world of fifty years ago.

The basic concept of the story is a ruthless battle between two private armies—each master-minded by a leader of superhuman cunning, and Franju has juxtaposed these forces of Good and Evil, of Light and Darkness. The complicated plot becomes extremely involved with coincidence and improbability, straining credibility to the limit. But in the end. the wicked banker. Favraux. and the adventuress. Diana, are finally vanquished by Judex, a white Knight of legend, aided by his black-garbed followers and a beautiful acrobat, Daisy.

Franju made Judex between Therese Desqueroitx and Thomas the Impostor, both shown at earlier Festivals. Remaining remarkably faithful to the spirit of the original Judex of 1916, he carefully balances the elements of fantasy and primitive science fiction. To capture the style and spirit of an innocent age. Franju has relied on visual contrasts between black and white. This symbolism is superbly expressed by Marcel Fradetal's photo­graphy, creating the exactly right kind of magical, fairytale aura for the film.

See also...

SHADOWMAN

The Man Without A Face is a daring criminal who can assume disguises as readily as Sherlock Holmes. No-one knows what he really looks like, not even the woman who loves him and is his partner in ... More »

THOMAS THE IMPOSTOR

During the war of 1914, the Princess de Bormes organises an ambulance service to the front. She is aided by the young Thomas de Fontenoy, who manages to get the necessary authorisations on account of ... More »

Blood of the Beasts

A surprisingly lyrical description of a Paris abattoir, its melancholy district, and the oddly genial people employed there. ... More »

THERESE DESQUEYROUX

This celebrated novel by Francois Mauriac was adapted for the screen by the author himself and by his son Claude, critic of "Le Figaro Literaire". The films director is Georges Franju who has ... More »

En Passant par la Lorraine

The second film by the director of Le Sang des Bêtes is an evocation of Lorraine, in a form that skilfully blends past and present: the memorial to Jeanne d'Arc at Domremy, and the traces of ... More »

Le Sang des Bêtes

Le Sang Des Betes describes a Paris abattoir, not only the methods of slaughtering animals, but also the melancholy district in which it is set, and the oddly genial characters of the people employed ... More »

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