The Judex Files: By the sea

 

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Now read on…

Occasionally, you can see Louis Feuillade trying things — like this low angle. He may have somehow been forced into it — there appear to be steps at the lower edge of the shot. It’s been noted that his pans tend to be a touch hesitant. This is probably down to hand-cranking — must be awkward rotating the camera while winding the lever at a constant rate, but it has the effect of giving every adjustment a trepidatious quality of “Dare we?” This is rather sweet.

And so is this whole episode, in which everybody takes off to the south of France, the kids play footer under the palms, and the adults just waft around, emoting distractedly. Judex drops his false beard so he can appear bare-faced before his love, but he still cannot proclaim himself to be the feared JUDEX.

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Most distracted of all is the still marble-less Favraux, formerly a crooked banker, now a shell of a man, or at least a shell of a crooked banker. But upon meeting his grand-daughter/son, he’s somewhat revived. Love finds a way.

There’s love in the air for much-baffled private eye Cocantin too, as he bumps into his surprisingly glamorous girlfriend, Miss Daisy Torp, champion swimmer and trapeze-artist. Romance blossoms, and an aquatic deus ex machina is introduced mere minutes before she will be needed. Love is rekindled by a desolate rotunda.

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For Diana Monti and her sick crew are in town also, aboard a boat. Principle henchman Morales looks absolutely darling in his sailor suit. Soon, Favraux has been shanghaied. A tragic climax is prepared…

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To be continued…

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4 Responses to “The Judex Files: By the sea”

  1. Sylva Koscina plays Daisy in the Franju. She’s utterly enchanting.

  2. Always welcome. And Franju sensibly gives her some acrobatics to do, as well as a cat-fight in cat-suits with his Diana Monti.

    I may have to rewatch the Franju after this.

  3. If memory serves, Daisy was foreshadowed a little. The Licorice Kid finds her framed photo and asks Cocantin about her. I initially thought it was just to reassure us a bit about this man who suddenly takes a street urchin into his bachelor lodgings; then reflected such concerns probably didn’t occur to anybody at the time and it was to make her later appearance a bit less random.

    I don’t think the serial explains why they were apart, but the Franju — which conjures her out of nowhere — does have a few lines about one of her relatives breaking it up.

  4. There’s something charming about her appearing with such perfect timing to solve the case and provide a last-minute romantic interest.

    You’re right, I’d forgotten the photo. This serial is opportunistic but not haphazard.

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