A film by Georges Franju

Wednesday, March 18

21:00 — Mindpirates Projektraum

“I’ve done so much wrong to perform this miracle.”

Franju, along with Henry Langlois one of the founding members of the Cinématheque française, was a film buff above all – one with a passion for pulp – and France had yet to deliver a full-blooded horror film like they made ’em so successfully in the UK and the US.

As he was offered to adapt the novel by Jean Redon, he accomplished, together with legendary writer-duo Boileau-Narcejac (Diaboliques, Vertigo) and cinematographer Eugene Schüftan (schooled by work on films by Fritz Lang, Abel Gance and Marcel Carné), what is often cited as one of the most poetic horror films ever committed to celluloid.

There are images here—of terror, of gore, of beauty—that once seen are never forgotten.

A film whose ugly poetry will stay with you for a long time.



A surgeon whose daughter was disfigured in a car crash kidnaps young girls and attempts to graft their faces on to her ruined one. 


“A perfect example of how cinematic poetry can transform a seemingly disreputable movie genre.” — Chicago Tribune


“A chilling expression in cinema of our ancient preoccupation with the nature of identity.” — Patrick McGrath (author, “SPIDER”)


“Exquisite, dread images… a vague, floating, almost lyric sense of horror”— Pauline Kael


“Although the plot is as wildly fantastic as anything Hollywood ever dreamed up, Franju invests it with a weird poetry in which the influence of Cocteau is unmistakable” — Phil Hardy, Encyclopedia of Horror


“Thanks to veteran cinematographer Eugene Schüfftan, Franju infused its pulp plotline with a brooding lyricism that had rarely been since since the Expressionist heyday. […] Sharp as a scalpel, soft as a caress, this is a weird masterwork.”— David Parkinson


“Franju deftly balances fantasy and realism, clinical detachment and operatic emotion, beauty and pain, all presided over by Edith Scob’s haunting, haunted eyes.” David Kalat