eyeswithoutface5

Eyes Without a Face is a strangely lyrical horror film, recalling somewhat Val Lewton’s productions for RKO in the 1940s. The movie is almost as interested in identity and morality as it is in scaring you.  But scare you it does, not only with its ghastly premise, but with some stark images that burn themselves into your memory.

 

Brilliant reconstructive surgeon Dr. Genessier keeps his daughter Christiane hidden away in his roomy estate in the Paris suburbs. Her face had been ruined in a car crash, beyond even his ability to repair. She wears a rubber mask to hide her wounds, and all the mirrors in the house have been removed. Even so, Christiane knows that a mangled face means society will never have a place for her, and she is filled with despair at her plight.

 

But Dr. Genessier has a plan: he believes he can succeed in a radical transplant that will give Christiane another woman’s face. Unfortunately, a live donor needs to be secured; and as no one is likely to volunteer a face, he decides to abduct a suitable woman and take it from her.

 

There are some lovely understated performances here, chiefly by Alida Valli as Gesennier’s  too-faithful assistant Louise, and Edith Scob as the tormented Christiane.

 

This is French horror at its best: slick, stylish and beautifully photographed. Director Georges Franju was a giant in French cinema, and was roundly criticized by the critics of his day for working in the  “minor genre” of horror.  But Franju knew that horror is the perfect place in which to examine the darkness we all carry around inside us.

 

 

Eyes Without a Face screens Monday October 6 and  Tuesday October 7, 7:00 and 8:45 at the Trylon.  Want advance tickets? Get ’em here.

 

scream

 

By Trylon volunteer Collette Ricci

Scream is not only a good horror movie (or a very well executed meta-horror for that matter) it’s a movie that epically snubbed a terrible trope that had dominated the horror genre for too long.

Early 80s slasher movies set the tone for modern horror. Those movies usually featured co-ed casts of kids, doing rebellious and risque stuff, being hunted by a murdering maniac. Emulators of the time quickly boiled that formula down to: promiscuous teens get hunted by a maniac. Within a few years, that idea had been distilled even further, to the point that women appearing on screen weren’t much more than an excuse to see a pair of boobs. Scream not only addressed those tropes throughout the film’s dialogue, it tackled them head on in actions and character development as well.

The women in Scream are complex, they deal with death and loss, they have appropriate character driven reactions, they possess physical strength, they help each other, and they grow as characters. In the end women even come to each others ultimate rescue, even though there are badly injured dudes near by who (when traditionally written in horror movies) could have swooped in and saved the day. Basically, watching this movie is the cinematic equivalent of winning an argument with your misogynistic co-worker in front of his friends.

And I know I glossed over it, but Scream is a good movie! Interesting plot twists (that set up the sequel nicely), good pacing, believable acting, a compelling script, and a seasoned horror director cement this as one of my favorite horror movies. The fact that all these things happen in a world where people actually have seen horror movies, and act accordingly, is just icing on an already lovely cake.

 

Colette Ricci hasn’t had a cigarette in six years, but every time she watches someone in a film light a cigarette, she inhales with them.

 

 Scream plays at the Trylon Friday and Saturday, October 3 and 4 at 7:00 and 9:15, and Sunday October 5 at 5:00 and 7:15. Advance tickets here.

lover come back

 

 

Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson)  is a rising star in his ad agency. Thanks to his hard work? Hardly. He’s a master of the wine-and-dine, schmoozing clients to the profound consternation of his rival, Carol Templeton (Doris Day).  Tony Randall plays the Tony Randall part.  Screens at the Heights Thursday, October 2 at 7:30. Advance tickets are available, and you can purchase them here.