|Site locale: United States||
Best Blu-ray Deals
Top Holiday Deals are Live, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Eyes Without a Face(1960)
Based on Jean Redon's novel this gloomy, atmospheric horror film is a masterpiece of cinematic poetry. After his daughter Christiane becomes horribly disfigured in a car accident of which he was the cause, guilt-ridden plastic surgeon Doctor Genessier grows obsessed with perfecting the reconstruction of her once-beautiful, but now-ravaged, face. With the help of his sadistic nurse Louise, Genessier kidnaps young girls and brings them back to his isolated manse for grisly medical procedures that graft the victims' living skins onto that of his daughter's. The film's nightmarish power springs from the surrealistic beauty of its haunting images--from the fiercely blank mask that shields Christiane's wounded face to the merciless incisions of Genessier's surgeries--and a moving climactic scene that garners one of the most transcendent finales in all of cinematic history.
For more about Eyes Without a Face and the Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray release, see the Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on October 22, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
Director: Georges Franju
» See full cast & crew
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, October 22, 2013
Georges Franju's "Les yeux sans visage" a.k.a "Eyes Without a Face" (1960) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The supplemental features on the disc include original trailers for the film; excerpt from an episode of the French television series Cinema de notre temps; exclusive new video interview with actress Edith Scob; excerpt from an episode from the French television show Cine-parade; Georges Franju's documentary Le sang des betes a.k.a Blood of the Beasts (1949); and more. The release also arrives with an illustrated booklet featuring Patrick McGrath's essay "Appearances to the Contrary" and David Kalat's essay "The Unreal Reality". In French, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
The main protagonist in Georges Franju's legendary horror film Eyes Without a Face is a mad surgeon (Pierre Brasseur, Children of Paradise, Le Quai Des Brumes) who is secretly trying to rebuild the badly disfigured face of his daughter (Edith Scob, Judex/Nuits Rouges, Holy Motors). He works with a very elegant assistant (Alida Valli, Senso, Suspiria) who routinely abducts young girls whose beautiful faces are later on used to reconstruct his daughter's face. The doctor lives alone in a giant mansion somewhere on the outskirts of Paris.
The first half of the film focuses on the doctor's experiments and his assistant's careful search for beautiful girls. Both know exactly what they are doing and are fully committed to the ongoing project. The camera occasionally shows the doctor's daughter who seems to be on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown, but he calmly assures her that it is only a matter of time before she will be able to have a normal life.
The girl wears a simple yet elegant mask that covers everything but her eyes. When the camera comes close to her, it is easy to see that the eyes are incredibly beautiful. These are some of the best sequences in the entire film – the visuals are quite unsettling yet at the same time deeply poetic.
The second half is drastically different. The camera again comes close to the girl with the mask, but the poetic beauty is almost completely replaced with a striking sense of realism. There are a couple of sequences that feel as if they were extracted from an instructional documentary meant to be seen only by medical professionals. One of these sequences is particularly creepy.
This uncharacteristic blending of poetic beauty and realism is what separates Franju's Eyes Without a Face from other similarly-themed films from the same era. On one hand, it seems like a contemporary Gothic film which wants to seduce the audience with very dark but elegant imagery. On the other hand, it is so direct and raw, even by modern standards, that by the time the final credits roll it feels like the film might have been created to test the audiences' tolerance for graphic horror. Needless to say, viewing Eyes Without a Face is a very, very unique experience.
Brasseur is absolutely spectacular as the mad surgeon who is totally obsessed with his secret work. The first sequence in which he carefully touches the face of the young girl on the operating table causes that strange 'knotted-up' feeling in the stomach which never truly disappears after it. The beautiful Valli is also very convincing as Brasseur's loyal assistant. Scob's performance has become legendary and for a good reason – her beautiful eyes reveal exactly how she feels while waiting to discover whether her father's latest procedure was successful. A young and very beautiful Juliette Mayniel also has a small role in the film. (A year earlier, Maynel had her acting debut in the late Claude Chabrol's second feature film, Les Cousins).
Eyes Without a Face was lensed by the great cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan (People on Sunday, Marcel Carne's Le Quai Des Brumes, Robert Rossen's The Hustler).
The film's legendary soundtrack was created by Maurice Jarre (David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago).
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.
Please note that the screencaptures used in our review appear in the following order:
1. Screencaptures #1-19: Eyes Without a Face
2. Screencaptures #21-25: Blood of the Beasts
The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray release:
"This new high-definition transfer (for Eyes Without a Face) was created on a Spirit HD film scanner from the original 35mm camera negative.
The original monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm sound negative. Clicks, thumps, hiss, and hum were manually removed using Pro Tools HD. Crackle was attenuated using AudioCube's integrated workstation.
Transfer supervisor: Audrey Birrien.
Colorist: Eddy Nakka/Eclair Laboratories, Epinay-sur-Seine, France."
The high-definition transfer appears to have been sourced from the same master Gaumont used for their Blu-ray release of Eyes Without a Face in France. Having seen the beautiful French release, I can confirm that Criterion's presentation of this classic French film is just as impressive. Indeed, depth and clarity are dramatically improved when one compares the Blu-ray release to Criterion's R1 DVD reelase. Contrast and sharpness levels are also stabilized. Furthermore, the blacks are solid, but not harsh, and well balanced with the whites. There is also a good range of grays. Grain is retained and well resolved. Compression is good, but I feel that there are a couple of sequences where careful adjustments could have been performed to make them look even better. Image stability is excellent. Finally, there are no large damage marks, cuts, debris, stains, warps, or splices to report in this review. All in all, Criterion's new Blu-ray release of Eyes Without a Face represents a very solid upgrade in quality over the existing R1 DVD release. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this release: French LPCM 1.0. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The lossless track is excellent. Maurice Jarre's atmospheric score benefits the most -- the bassoon and oboe solos, in particular, sound pleasingly lush, not thin or distorted -- but the dialog is also exceptionally crisp and very well rounded. There is no background hiss. Also, there are no distracting pops, cracks, or audio dropouts to report in this review.
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Criterion's Blu-ray release of Georges Franju's legendary Eyes Without a Face will make English-speaking fans of the film very happy. It is every bit as impressive as Gaumont's Region-B release. It is also vastly superior to the existing R1 DVD release. If Eyes Without a Face happens to be one of your favorite films, do not hesitate to upgrade or finally add it to your library. Buy with confidence, folks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: October 15-22 - October 13, 2013
For the week of October 15th, Fox Home Entertainment is bringing The Heat to Blu-ray. Other titles include Magnolia's A Hijacking, Johnnie To's Drug War actioner, John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness and Georges Franju's Eyes without a Face, Orson Welles' The ...
• Criterion Announces October Titles - July 15, 2013
The Criterion Collection has announced nine titles for Blu-ray release in October. On October 8th, the studio will release René Clair's I Married A Witch. On October 15th, it will release Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face. On October 22, it will release five ...
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Eyes Without a Face Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2013 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.