Masters of Cinema - Judex/Nuits Rouges DVD


Judex (1963): The magical rarely seen Judex directed by the great Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face) was largely unappreciated at the time of its release in 1963. This lyrical and dreamlike picture a putative remake of Louis Feuillade's own 1916 Judex is as evocative of the silent master's own works as it is the later films of Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali. A French reviewer wrote in 1963: The whole of Judex reminds us that film is a privileged medium for the expression of poetic magic. Starring the magician Channing Pollock the divine Edith Scob and the mesmerising... Francine Berg'' Judex concerns a wicked banker his helpless daughter and a mysterious avenger. It plays like a fairy tale one in which Franju creates a dazzling clash between good and evil eschewing interest in the psychological aspects of his characters for unexplained twists and turns in the action. The beautifully controlled imagery superbly rendered by Marcel Fradetal's black-against-white photography animates a natural world and the spirits of animals all at war with a host of diabolical forces. Franju's Judex and Nuits Rouges both paid overt homage to the surreal silent serial-works of Feuillade. Scripted in collaboration with Feuillade's grandson Jacques Champreux these films evince the same poetic magic that made the art of that earlier master a cause c''l''bre not only for the Surrealist movement but also for the world renowned Cin''math''que Fran''aise. It was the Cin''math''que (co-founded by the legendary Henri Langlois with Franju) that helped resurrect the reputation of Feuillade decades after he'd slipped out of the public consciousness. Nuits Rouges (1973): Nuits Rouges [Red Nights] released in the UK as Shadowman was the second Franju Champreux meditation upon the films of Feuillade. It aggressively escalates a pulp atmosphere steeped in shocking turns of events to an even more vertiginous level. Here the object of pursuit is the fabled treasure of the mythical order of the Knights Templar which the filmmakers use as the jump-off point for staging a series of fantastic set-pieces. As the Fant''mas-esque arch-criminal (known only as The Man Without a Face played by Jacques Champreux himself) violently pursues the treasure the action intensifies amongst a cadre of post '68 bohemians the Paris police bureau and a cult of cowled conspirators. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Georges Franju's two most mindbending films on DVD in the UK for the first time. [show more]

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25 August 2008
193 minutes 
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JUDEX is the faithful feature-film version of the exploits of French serial eponymous superhero a sharp-witted detective and master of disguise who employs his skills in the defence of the world from archenemy Fantomas NUITS ROUGES tells the story of an arch criminal known as 'the man without a face' and his pursuit of the fabled treasure of the mythic order of the Knights Templar

Double-bill of films from acclaimed French director Georges Franju. In 'Judex' (1963), based on the classic French silent serial, corrupt banker Favraux (Michel Vitold) is kidnapped by 'Judex' (Channing Pollock), a masked nemesis with a variety of disguises, who demands he pay back money to those unfortunates he has swindled. Acting out of duty to his father, who had committed suicide due to his debts, Judex endeavours to turn the fraudster's friends against him, and finally expose him to the world. In 'Nuits Rouges' (1974), the master criminal known only as 'the man without a face' (Jacques Champreux) sets about uncovering the whereabouts of the legendary treasure of the Knights Templar, from the last remaining sect in existence.