Eyes Without a Face

Eyes Without a Face 15 S

Seduced by Cinema: Peter Strickland and the Scala


Please note: This was screened in June 2019

Georges Franju
Pierre Brasseur, Édith Scob, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
90 mins, Subtitled, 1960, France | Italy
Primary language:

"Eyes without a Face blows me away every time I see it – sensual, dark, mysterious and visionary. There still isn’t anything quite like it, despite the endless trail of directors indebted to its powers even to this day"

- Peter Strickland

In a manifestation of guilt unlike any other, Eyes Without a Face explores the lengths that people will reach in an attempt to turn back time on their greatest mistakes. French director George Franju's extraordinary film is as poetic in its obsessions as it is horrifying in its subject matter.

A brilliant doctor (Pierre Brasseur) takes up residence in a secluded villa accompanied by his reclusive daughter (Édith Scob) and his surgical partner. While the outside world remains at bay, the surreal world inside the villa is transformed by the horrors carried out within its walls. In order to fix his greatest regret, disfiguring his daughter in an accident that he caused, the doctor has resorted to kidnapping young women and attempting brutal and ultimately unsuccessful face transplants with his daughter as the unwilling recipient.

With a gorgeous and surreal set that makes the mind reel as much as the plot itself, it is easy to draw parallels to Peter Strickland’s uncanny ability to construct surrealist environments in which to carry out his beautifully absurdist horror.