Hong Kong 2012 Diary: Tribute – The Tenderness and Savagery of Georges Franju

Eyes Without a Face

Georges Franju (1912-1987) occupied a pivotal but often overlooked position in French cinema as director, archivist and critic. With Henri Langlois, Franju founded the Cercle de Cinema and co-founded the Cinematheque Français (1936). In addition, he founded and directed the Federation of International Film Archives, saving film history and texts worldwide. As a director, Franju’s career began with the possibilities of short films – documentary and creative – made for government offices when these were scorned upon as art forms; he created travelogues, biographies (Méliès) and studies of workplace aesthetics now recognized as monuments in this genre. Later, Franju combined homage to the classics with a global gaze as he pushed the boundaries of French movies in his embrace of the cinema fantastique, which encompassed horror and surrealism in heady mixtures. As filmmaker and cinephile, Franju stood at the crossroads of French cinema, linking early silent films, the golden age of the Popular Front in the 1930s and the nouvelle vague of the 1960s in a panorama that speaks powerfully to modern connoisseurs. This small retrospective is but a sample of the great director’s works.

Films include a Georges Franju Shorts Programme (Hotel des invalides,  Le sang des betes, La premiere nuit, Le gran Melies), and full-length features Head Against the Wall, and Eyes Without a Face.

(from the site)