The Avengers (Season 5, Episode 20: Dead Man’s Treasure): fun and childhood fantasy turn deadly and dangerous

Sidney Havers, “The Avengers (Season 5, Episode 20: Dead Man’s Treasure)” (1967) A courier, mortally wounded, just manages to stumble into Steed’s home and mutter to Steed (Patrick Macnee) scraps of information about some important documents he has hidden in a treasure chest at a manor house before conveniently expiring.  In order for Steed and …

The Avengers (Season 5, Episode 6: The Winged Avenger): flighty fantasy let down by tedious and repetitive violence

 Gordon Flemyng and Peter Duffell, “The Avengers (Season 5, Episode 6: The Winged Avenger)” (1967) The father-and-son team of stony-hearted corporate vultures at Simon Roberts & Son Publishers has been found mysteriously murdered – clawed to bloodless death, as it were, by a giant eagle – so Steed (Patrick Macnee) and trusty sidekick Peel (Diana …

Judex (dir. Georges Franju): an affectionate, light-hearted homage to Louis Feuillade and silent films

Georges Franju, “Judex” (1963) A remake of the Louis Feuillade 1916 mini-series about the mystery masked crusader Judex (Latin for “judge”), Georges Franju’s film is said to partake of some of that earlier film’s visual style. Certainly there is an emphasis on careful staging of action and great attention given to details of background scenery …

Two comedy horror shorts by Martin Scorsese about self-destructive compulsions and obsessions

Martin Scorsese, “What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?” (1963)  Martin Scorsese, “The Big Shave” (1967) Two hilarious short films from Martin Scorsese, one from his student days and the other when he was starting his film-directing career, yet both have energy and a refreshing surrealist experimentalism. Both shorts are at once …