Georges Franju’s JUDEX and
Fritz Lang’s THE 1,000 EYES OF DR. MABUSE
Georges Franju (1963, 104 min.) Louis Feuillade created Judex to appease opponents of his earlier work, which was criticised as glorifying crime and violence. But compared to Fantômas and Les Vampires, Judex is merely the opposite side of the same coin: a master of disguise and gentleman sadist avenging those even further morally debased. Seizing the opportunity to recraft Fueillade’s material after a proposed Fantômas remake fell apart, Franju spins Judex as a baroque Victorian Gothic fantasia with a sinister bent. Collaborating once again with cinematographer Marcel Fradetal, who shot his 1949 slaughterhouse documentary Le Sang des bêtes, Franju delivers some stunning images of flickering daggers and blackclad henchmen scaling buildings like silhouettes in the night. Most unforgettable is an ornate costumed ball inspired by the illustrations of 19th century French caricaturist J.J. Grandville, an unmistakable influence on Eyes Wide Shut. It’s surreal moments like these, as well as a wonderful nostalgia for early French cinema, that makes Cocteau comparisons especially apt—but he never made a film as dangerous or sexy as this.
In French with English subtitles. Digital projection.
THE 1,000 EYES OF DR. MABUSE
9:30 pm • View a vintage trailer
Dir. Fritz Lang (1960, 103 min.) For his final film, Fritz Lang returned to Germany and the most notorious creation of his Weimar period: the nebulous criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse. When a series of murders follow the long-thought deceased Mabuse’s M.O., Kriminalkommissar Kras follows a ghastly psychic’s leads to a luxury hotel outfitted with Nazi surveillance technology. Among the characters ensnared in its machinations are a dashing American arms dealer, a cold-blooded assassin and a suicidal woman with a grave secret—and perhaps even the doctor himself. Featuring homages to works across Lang’s entire oveure alongside a direct, unequivocal confrontation with Nazism, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse is a fitting and unjustly neglected swan song from one of the masters of cinema.
Presented with it’s rare, original German soundtrack and English subtitles. Digital projection.
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