Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Classic Cinema Spotlight: Eyes Without A Face
Eyes Without A Face (1960) is one of the films I found by accident and have been waiting to watch for a long time. I mean at least over a year. It is always tricky trying to find ways to watch films alone with a house full of babies but I lucked out because my hubby was home from a rare night off. While he played with them downstairs, I consumed this dazzling beauty upstairs.
Some may find they need to be in a certain mood to watch certain films or have a certain setting. If I can get both then I am in film watching bliss. And when I watched this I so was!
I didn't know what to expect. It is in black and white, released in 1960, and in French. That I knew. I love, I mean, I LOVE French films so I was comfortable watching it. I didn't expect the brilliant angles and editing that were in this film to leave me in goosebumps.
Sometimes it is the things you cannot see or cannot see to well that are the most terrifying only because you just don't know. In the not knowing, fear sets in.
This film is about a Doctor who out of guilt (they were all in a car accident) attempts to repair his daughters distorted face by having girls kidnapped and stealing their faces. Christiane, the daughter, is played by Edith Scob, wears a mask to cover her face. The makeup they use to give you the illusion that you are looking at a mask is outstanding. At one point in the film you only see a fuzzy glimpse of how her face really looks like and it just leaves you wanting more and wondering, "how horrific can it be?"
Rounding out the cast of this diabolical film is Pierre Brasseur as her father/the Doctor, Alida Valli as Christiane's comforter and the Doctor's nurse/kidnapper, and Francois Guerin as Christiane's fiancee.
While watching the film I couldn't help but feel like it reminded me slightly of Dario Argento's films (Iconic Italian Horror film maker) and then I realized that he must have been inspired by this film because it is similar in style. He even has Alida Valli in one of his best films, Suspiria.
There is a sense of mystery, torture, sadness, violence, and macabre about this film. The ending is both endearing and haunting. Very haunting.
Have you seen this film? If not, it is available on Netflix via dvd. It is one that will leave you as haunted as Christiane.