March 6, 7:30 An die Musik, 409 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD $15/$10
Ciné-Concert: HESPERUS plays Judex, the Mysterious Avenger
Tina Chancey, violin, and pianist Mark Kotishion improvise a score to the first two episodes of Louis Feuillade’s 1914 film serial. Judex is a mysterious avenger who dresses in black and wears a slouch hat and cloak like the American pulp hero the Shadow. Feuillade’s two popular earlier serials, Fantômas (Phantoms) and Les Vampires, drew criticism for glorifying criminals. He decide to create a heroic persona, Judex, with all of the sinister trappings of the flamboyant villains who were his former protagonists.
After his father was slain by the villainous banker Favraux, Jacques de Trémeuse adopted the guise of Judex (the Latin word for judge) and assembled an organization of ex-criminals and circus people to challenge Favraux and his lethal mistress Marie Verdier. He was a masterful fighter and an expert at disguise, with a secret headquarters in a subterranean passageway beneath a ruined castle outfitted with technological gadgets. Judex is the model for many of today’s beloved crime fighters; come watch the eariest beginnings of the genre.
Guest artist Mark Kotishion is a Baltimore pianist who maintains a dual career as a silent film acompanist and a jazz pianist with the Boilermaker Jazz Band, touring with them from Oregon to South Korea.