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Retrospective Film Review: Les Yeux Sans Visage

Sunday 11 March 2012

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Les Yeux Sans Visage (1959) directed by Georges Franju, starring Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scobb & Alida Valli.

Les Yeux Sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face in English) is a horror film with a difference. Brasseur plays Dr. Génessier, a surgeon who will go to any length to restore the face of his daughter Christiane (Scobb), who was disfigured in a car accident.

In other hands, this story could produce a simple ‘mad scientist’ modernisation of the Frankenstein myth. However, Franju avoids the frenzy of the form, and slows the pace of his film down to a painful and unnerving crawl. His characters how to buy generic viagra in canada take on allegorical meanings, and the film is as much about the Holocaust as it is Frankenstein. Watch Alida Valli as Génessier’s assistant in her black leather trench coat and tell me she doesn’t trigger thoughts of the Gestapo.

The original American release of the film was reedited and dubbed before being shipped out to the cinemas as the rebranded The Horror Chamber of Doctor Faustus. Do not watch this version. See Les Yeux Sans Visage in its original form, as Franju intended, and I promise and I promise you a chilling, enthralling and haunting  experience.