Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Under The Knife

"I'm all out of hope
One more bad dream could bring a fall
When I'm far from home
Don't call me on the phone
To tell me you're alone
It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release"
- Billy Idol, "Eyes Without A Face"

Ah yes, a modern day poet, that Billy Idol. He would turn this cold, sexless film into a plea for ejaculation.

Says director Franju, "When I shot Eyes Without a Face, I was told: ‘No sacrilege because of the Spanish market, no nudity because of the Italian market, no blood because of the French market and don’t kill any animals because of the English market.’ And I was supposed to be making a horror film!”

And yet he succeeded in making one of the horrifyingly beautiful films ever shot - more horrifying because it's so beautiful, in such a strange, surreal way.

The film, about the ruthless search for beauty to cover up the ugliness barely hidden away, could obviously be read as a plastic surgery parable - what is Joan Rivers if not a plastic mask we keep waiting to watch rot off?

(spoiler alert for next paragraph...)

Yet Christiane, the woman behind the mask, is our hero in the end; importantly, though, Franju makes it impossible to say it was because her inner beauty won out over her need for external beauty - yes, Christiane may free the trapped girl, but she also releases the hounds upon her father, and wanders into the night looking like something out of Night of the Living Dead.

Franju, rather than call the film "horror", said, "It's an anguish film. It's a quieter mood than horror, something more subjacent, more internal, more penetrating. It's horror in homeopathic doses.”


Glenn Dunks said...

whoa, horror at the blog? :)

Jason Adams said...

Horror's my bag, baby... gotta bring a lil' me where ever I go. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Though I am a fan of gore ( I will put up with all of Jason X to see a face dipped in nitrogen and smashed like a bag of deli ice at a cheap party) I would like to see some new films that scare you with the choices normal people make under pressure. I am scared of my upstairs neighbor more than a slasher. Tell Roman to stop the pitty party and remake The Tenant.

Anonymous said...


so... i didn't realize this but looks like Burton homages this with Jerry Hall in the first Batman