Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 26: Sun Jan 26

No1 Eyes Without a Face (Franju, 1959): Temple Studios, 31 London St, W2 1DJ
Screenings at 11am & 1.15pm


This should be fascinating. Here is the introduction to today's two screening: A 16mm print of cult 1959 French horror film Eyes Without A Face will be screened twice on the 26 January on the set of Punchdrunk and National Theatre co-productionThe Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable. 

Punchdrunk and the BFI have partnered up for these special screenings as part of the BFI’s nationwide Gothic project. The classic horror film will be shown inside the 36-seat working cinema created by Punchdrunk as part of the extraordinary set of The Drowned Man which spans four floors.  In performances of The Drowned Man, which is set in 1962, the old fashioned Hollywood cinema is already billed as showing the film Eyes Without A Face.

Directed by Georges Franju, Eyes Without A Face is the story of a brilliant, obsessive doctor who goes to horrifying lengths to attempt radical plastic surgery on his daughter after a car accident leaves her disfigured.  Described as ‘the most horrid horror film you could fear to see’ by the Financial Times it is now recognised as a major influence on the gothic genre but caused great controversy when it was released.  Seven people fainted during the film’s first showing at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1960.

The gothic world of Temple Studios is the perfect setting for the film screening.  Inspired by Georg B├╝chner's fractured masterpiece Woyzeck, The Drowned Man explores the darkness of the Hollywood dream.

Chicago Reader review:
As Dave Kehr originally described it, “a classic example of the poetry of terror.” Georges Franju's 1959 horror film, based on a novel by Jean Redon, is about a plastic surgeon who's responsible for the car accident that leaves his daughter disfigured; he attempts to rebuild her face with transplants from attractive young women he kidnaps with the aid of his assistant. As absurd and as beautiful as a fairy tale, this chilling, nocturnal black-and-white masterpiece was originally released in this country dubbed and under the title The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus, but it's much too elegant to warrant the usual “psychotronic” treatment. It may be Franju's best feature, and Eugen Schufftan's exquisite cinematography deserves to be seen in 35-millimeter.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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No 2 The Vampire Lovers (Ward-Baker, 1970): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.40pm


This film, part of the BFI Gothic season, is also being shown on January 21st when Madeleine Smith will be present for a Q&A after the screening. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Based on Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, this eroticized vampire tale (1970) resulted from the last significant surge of creative energy at Britian's Hammer Films, which thereafter descended into abject self-parody. Ingrid Pitt is the bisexual bloodsucker on the loose in a girls' boarding school, and Peter Cushing is her nemesis. With Dawn Addams, Pippa Steele, and Madeleine Smith.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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