Happy new year to all of you! May 2011 offer everything that you wish for. Today is also iTunes’s Day 7, and 7 is supposed to be a lucky number. Well, I do not find it that lucky. Today, Apple gave me a 1964 Fantômas movie. I have never seen one, I just know the character’s name, and I must say I am not too interested. But again, getting something for free is a good excuse to try new things – or rather, there is no excuse for not trying! Fantômas is the first episode of a trilogy, so this gift could be considered what we call un cadeau empoisonné in France – the fact that you will have to pay the other two movies if you ever want to know what happens after the first movie.
British iTunes Store users will get Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times. Quite good, isn’t it?
For those who do not know who Fantômas is, here is a short story. The character was created by French writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre in 1911. Originally, the character belonged to a book series, that ended up with 43 episodes. Basically, it is the French equivalent to James Bond, with the difference that Fantômas is not a hero, but the exact opposite: a ruthless and reckless criminal and murderer. For people who know Arsène Lupin – a previous French fictional criminal – Fantômas is far more violent. He uses disguise as his main weapon, so this chameleon-like personnage is very hard to catch.
The story was later adapted to TV series, comics and movies. The movie iTunes gives today is among the most well known, starring Jean Marais as Fantômas and his alter ego and own archenemy journalist Jérôme Fandor – yes, quite confusing -, Louis de Funès as Commissioner Paul Juve, and Mylène Demongeot as Hélène Gurn. However, this 1964 version is a bit more of a comic movie, especially as regards the role of Louis de Funès, a famous French comedy actor.
In the story, Fantômas, after making an important theft, aims at killing journalist Fandor – confusing, huh? – after he published an article about the criminal. Fantômas the uses Fandor and other victims’ identities to commit other crimes. In the end, Fantômas escapes. I will not tell you more, go download it!
I must acknowledge this disguise thing makes the movie confusing… I think I would be lost with all the character changing throughout the movie! A new version is expected on 2011, starring Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno. Anyway, enjoy, and happy new year!
Men Hunt Him Down….Women Look Him Up!….Super Thief….Master Lover….He’s out to ransack the world!