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.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
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.
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
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.
The Old Dark House
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)
Horror 1993 103 mins Director: Michele Soavi
Michele Soavi’s compelling concoction of anarchic Evil Dead-style horror-comedy, tragic romance and gore.
Comedy 1968 96 mins Director: Juraj Herz
This story of a professional cremator whose increasingly deranged impulses are given free reign during Prague's Nazi occupation, is a brilliantly chilling mix of Dr Strangelove and Repulsion.
Period drama 1964 102 mins Director: Kaneto Shindo
Stylish, symbolic and erotically charged Japanese horror in which the fortunes of a murderous mother-and-daughter team are upended by a strangely masked samurai.
Successive Slidings of Pleasure
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.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
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.
The Living Dead Girl
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.
The Grapes of Death
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.
Shiver of the Vampires
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.
The Nude Vampire
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 Pierre Brasseur
Goto, Island of Love
Drama 1968 93 mins Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Borowczyk's entrancing fantasy set on a bizarre archipelago cut off from civilisation, where a petty thief attempts to seduce the dictator's wife.
Featuring Alida Valli
The Third Man
Thriller 1949 104 mins Director: Carol Reed
Carol Reed's timeless classic, one of the greatest British films, lavishly marries a perfect script, an unforgettable theme tune and the star power of Orson Welles.
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.
Drama 2000 154 mins Director: Liv Ullmann
Ingmar Bergman scripts this semi-autobiographical drama directed by his closest collaborator, Liv Ullmann, about a theatre director facing up to the pain he inflicted upon his muse.
Drama 2004 102 mins Director: Cate Shortland
This intoxicating drama about an adolescent girl's sexual awakening launched the careers of both its star Abbie Cornish and director Cate Shortland.
Drama 2015 113 mins Director: Naomi Kawase
A struggling street food vendor accepts help from an elderly lady with a sensational recipe up her sleeve, in Naomi Kawase's bittersweet drama of culinary redemption.
Khrustalyov, My Car!
Drama 1998 146 mins Director: Alexei German
Aleksei German's hysterical and hallucinatory satire unfolds amid the chaos and paranoia of Stalin's 'doctor's plot' in 1953 USSR.
The Blue Angel
Drama 1930 103 mins Director: Josef von Sternberg
Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Comedy 2005 154 mins Director: Cristi Puiu
Cristi Puiu's multiple award-winning drama about a seriously ill man caught in an absurdist bureaucratic nightmare over the course of one night.