When master French filmmaker Georges Franju’s 1960 horror classic Eyes Without a Face was first shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival, seven people passed out in their seats. And no wonder: The film is about a plastic surgeon who kidnaps a beautiful woman and—get ready—surgically removes her face to give to his disfigured daughter. While we doubt anyone will faint at the screening when Anthology Film Archives shows it as a part of the retrospective Le Grand Franju, audiences should still find that viewing any of Franju’s works is indeed, even now, a stomach-churning affair. Today’s short-film program includes Blood of the Beasts, his 1949 surreal documentary shot inside a Paris slaughterhouse, and Hôtel des Invalides, his 1951 exploration of the tragic aftermath of war inside a veterans’ hospital.
March 15-19, 2008