The Judex Files: Dry Land

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And so Louis Feuillade’s JUDEX (1916) ends with a short 12th episode devoted to tying up loose ends.

Favraux is led back to Judex’s house, through dark locations of crepuscular backlight, into a comfortable studio set flatly lit to aid his recovery. He’s reunited with his daughter and grandperson, in a reconciliation scene not truly comparable to King Lear’s, but coming closer to that kind of emotion than most serials ever attempt.

We also learn that Favraux’s daughter now loves Judex, and, in one of the more starkly lit location settings, Favraux apologises to Judex’ dear old mum, for the whole thing about ruining her husband, driving him to suicide, and incidentally making indecent propositions to her. He forgives Judex for threatening him with death, drugging him into a death-like stupor, and incarcerating him in solitary confinement until he lost his reason. I guess maybe it does balance out.

Daisy Torp, the lady acrobat, Cocantin the comedy detective, and the Liquorice Kid, meanwhile, form another nuclear family, so all ends well.

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Well, except for poor Diana Monti (Musidora), washed ashore the next day with the rigid demeanour of a mannequin, and Morales, completely lost at sea, and Morales’ poor dad, who was also ruined by Favraux and has now lost a son. This makes for a strikingly bleak finish — an old man by the sea, who has lost everything in the adventures of others.

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2 Responses to “The Judex Files: Dry Land”

  1. Diana Monti washed ashore reminds me of the end of “La Dolce Vita” and the woman that bloated fish was standing in for.

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