Reviews and Articles
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Item Images
    About This Item

    Unique ID Code: 0000106177
    Added by: David Beckett
    Added on: 5/8/2008 11:08
    View Changes

    Judex + Nuits Rouges: The Masters of Cinema Series

    8 / 10
    1 vote cast
    Rate this item
    Inline Image

    Two Films By Georges Franju
    Certificate: PG
    Running Time:
    Retail Price: £24.99
    Release Date:
    Content Type: Movie

    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 Dalí. 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 Bergé, 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 célèbre not only for the Surrealist movement, but also for the world-renowned Cinémathèque Française. It was the Cinémathèque (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 [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 Fantômas-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.

    Special Features:
    • Video interviews, for both films, by Franju-collaborator Jacques Champreux

    • 40-page booklet containing newly translated interviews with Georges Franju; newly translated writing by Jacques Rivette.

    Video Tracks:
    Anamorphic 1.66:1
    Letterbox 1.66:1

    Audio Tracks:
    Dolby Digital Mono French

    Subtitle Tracks:

    Directed By:
    Georges Franju

    Written By:

    Channing Pollock
    Francine Bergé
    Edith Scob
    Jacques Jouanneau
    Michel Vitold
    Jacques Champreux
    Josephine Chaplin
    Gayle Hunnicutt
    Ugo Pagliai
    Gert Fröbe

    Director of Photography:
    Marcel Fradetal
    Guido Bertoni

    Gilbert Natot
    Gilles Mathot

    Robert de Nesle
    Raymond Froment

    Eureka Video

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!