Pierre Brasseur (Le Quai des brumes, Les Enfants du Paradis) is Dr Génessier, a brilliant and obsessive plastic surgeon driven by the need to restore his daughter’s disfigured face and push the boundaries of his field. Aided by his loyal assistant Alida Valli (The Third Man, Suspiria), who lures young women to his secluded chateau in pursuit of his dark quest.
Initially intended as a French response to Hammer horror films, Eyes Without a Face transcended its exploitation origins when young filmmaker and founder member of the Cinémathèque Française, Georges Franju, was hired to direct. The passionate cineaste imbued the production with expressionist mood and poetic grace, inspired by his love of silent cinema and the fantastique serials of Louis Feuillade. With gorgeous black and white photography by Eugen Schüfftan (The Hustler), a haunting waltz score from Maurice Jarre (Laurence of Arabia) and a twisted script finessed by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac (Vertigo), Eyes Without a Face is a cult horror classic that has been a major influence on filmmakers such as Jesús Franco, John Carpenter and Pedro Almodóvar.
Horror 2001 119 mins Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's dark and apocalyptic J-Horror foretells how technology serves to isolate us as it grows more important to our lives.
Horror 1994 82 mins Director: Abel Ferrara
Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken star in Abel Ferrara's raw, intense and intelligent take on the vampire myth - selected for the Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time Poll by The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw.
Horror 2012 95 mins Director: Xan Cassavetes
A cool and contemporary take on the vampire myth, steeped in atmosphere and brooding contemplation.
Horror 1919 77 mins Silent Director: Robert Wiene
One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s expressionist nightmare shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form.
Horror 1991 81 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's sequel has the Iron Man transforming into a cyberkinetic gun when a gang of vicious skinheads kidnap his son.
Comedy 1932 72 mins Director: James Whale
A group of weary travellers arrive at a spooky mansion with a madman on the loose, in this classic horror-comedy from James Whale (Bride of Frankenstein)
Drama 1974 106 mins Director: Alain Robbe-Grillet
Alain Robbe-Grillet’s serpentine erotic mystery presented as a surreal investigation into a woman with feared sexual powers.
Drama 1974 194 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Jacques Rivette’s biggest commercial hit is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and ‘la vie parisienne’, around an entrancing examination of making and watching films.
Horror 1983 90 mins Director: Jean Rollin
When toxic waste spill disturbs her grave, a deceased girl comes alive to walk the earth again in Jean Rollin's macabre tale of zombie carnage.
Horror 1978 91 mins Director: Jean Rollin
A woman visiting Roublès deep in France’s winemaking country discovers that the pesticide being sprayed on vineyards is turning people into killer zombies.
Horror 1970 95 mins Director: Jean Rollin
Newlyweds visit their cousins at a remote rural chateau, finding them under the spell of two vampire girls.
Horror 1969 85 mins Director: Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s second vampire film is a mesmerisingly surreal art-horror, short on logic but steeped in gorgeously sensual imagery.
Featuring Alida Valli
Horror 1977 101 mins Director: Dario Argento
Dario Argento’s phantasmagoric gothic nightmare blends operatic violence, disorienting dream logic and hyper-real visuals to create a horror classic.
Comedy 2015 86 mins Director: Desiree Akhavan
Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.
Drama 2013 108 mins Director: Diego Quemada
Diego Quemada-Diez’s astounding debut feature follows four Guatemalan teenagers as they attempt to escape from the slums of Guatemala City to the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Drama 1987 140 mins Director: James Ivory
Merchant Ivory’s landmark adaptation of E M Forster’s classic LGBTQ+ novel and a precursor to the James Ivory-scripted Call Me By Your Name, starring Hugh Grant, James Wilby and Rupert Graves.
Drama 1950 96 mins Director: Jean Cocteau
Magical retelling of the Orpheus myth by poet, playwright, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.
Drama 1975 71 mins Director: Miklós Jancsó
Miklós Jancsó's beautifully shot, intricately choreographed reworking of the ancient Greek myth is a searing exposé of oppression and the abuse of power.
Documentary 2018 96 mins Director: Ashley Joiner
Celebratory yet reflective documentary charting the LGBTQ+ movement's momentous journey towards equality.