Stream James Blackshaw Fantômas (Stereogum Premiere)
Something we’ll surely get used to as the decade continues is the fact that we’re going to start hitting the 100-year anniversaries of some very important films. This year marked the triple-digit birthday of the Fantômas series. The serialized films followed the anti-hero thief Fantômas who would often stage sadistically elaborate ways of murdering his enemies (how can you not root for a guy who kills with the “giant room filling with sand” method?). It’s an extremely influential series, and to celebrate the occasion, several artists were commissioned to compose new film scores to be performed live with a screening of the series (which taken all together makes a nearly six-hour film). One of those artists was the virtuoso guitarist James Blackshaw, who worked with the fifth and final film in the series, Le Faux Magistrat. You can stream the entire score below and watch a clip of Blackshaw performing it live at the anniversary screening in France last Halloween.
Blackshaw’s score is out 7/7 via Tompkins Square. Pre-order it here.
Also in a what’s probably not a coincidence, this marks the Criterion Collection’s release of the long-out-of-print 1963 film Judex by George Franju, most famous for the 1960 horror masterpiece Eyes Without A Face. In Judex, Franju remade and attempted to condense the entire Fantômas serial to 90 minutes, resulting in a dizzyingly surreal tribute that is also very worth your time.