A blend of pulp poetry and art cinema directed by Georges Franju. Cruel and tender, the story concerns a doctor who is driven mad with guilt because he has disfigured his daughter. As atonement the doctor kidnaps women and peels off their faces, trying to graft them on to his daughter’s ruined features.
Pierre Brasseur (Le Quai des brumes, Les Enfants du Paradis) is Dr Génessier, a brilliant and obsessive plastic surgeon driven by the need to restore his daughter’s disfigured face and push the boundaries of his field. Aided by his loyal assistant Alida Valli (The Third Man, Suspiria), who lures young women to his secluded chateau in pursuit of his dark quest. Eugen Schüfftan’s (The Hustler) stunning cinematography lends the chateau an almost Cocteau-like life of its own, and Edith Scob (Judex, Holy Motors) is quite remarkable as the ravaged beauty.
Eyes Without a Face is at once cruel and tender – highlighting Georges Franju’s unique blend of pulp, horror and poetry, it has, in the decades since it’s release, been a major influence on filmmakers such as Jesús Franco, John Carpenter and, more recently, Pedro Almodóvar.
• Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
• Les Sang des bêtes (Georges Franju, 1948, 21 mins): a haunting and visually striking study of a Parisian abattoir
• Monsieur et Madame Curie (Georges Franju, 1953, 14 mins): a study of the life and work of the Curies, told through the words of Marie Curie
• Les Fleurs maladives de Georges Franju (Pierre-Henri Gibert, 2009, 50 mins):
• An overview of Georges Franju’s career told though interviews with his friends, colleagues and film historians
• For Her Eyes Only – an interview with Edith Scob (LP Hugo, 2014, 17 mins): the actress talks about her work with Georges Franju and their friendship.
• Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog
• Fully illustrated booklet featuring credits and essays from Kate Ince, Isabel Stevens, Raymond Durgnat (TBC)
Kevin Jackson (TBC) and Michael Brooke
In French with English subtitles
DVD available at – http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/french-dvds