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.
Horror 1974 83 mins Director: Tobe Hooper
Unrivalled in its relentless vision of pure terror, Tobe Hooper’s horror masterpiece remains as brutal and horrific as it ever was.
Horror 1976 91 mins Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s classic outbreak horror introduces us to a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) who hungers for human blood after an experimental plastic surgery goes wrong.
Horror 2014 101 mins Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one. A female vampire stalks a ghost town in Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut.
Horror 2009 104 mins Director: Lars von Trier
After tragedy strikes, a couple retreat to a cabin in the woods in order to grieve. However, they find things go from bad to worse, in this brutal interrogation of nature from Lars von Trier.
Horror 1979 107 mins Director: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
Comedy 2014 86 mins Director: Taika Waititi
An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.
The Timeless Magic of Black and White
Historical drama 1925 69 mins Silent Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.
Horror 1932 73 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Carl Theodor Dreyer, is akin to a waking-dream; guiding the viewer on a trance-like journey between reality and the supernatural.
Comedy 1928 71 mins Director: Charles F. Riesner
Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.
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)
Documentary 1962 43 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's 'fictionalised documentary' uses non-actors to portray girls' lives in the cotton mills of Náchod.
Drama 2018 89 mins Director: Mark Jenkin
Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.
Featuring Alida Valli
Thriller 1949 105 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 1998 119 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda's lyrical fantasy challenges the viewer to reflect on the experiences that most make life worth living.
Drama 1995 109 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s first fiction feature is an exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness, uncertainty, and coming to terms with the past.
Documentary 2016 80 mins Director: Steven Okazaki
The on and off-screen character of Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s first international movie star, is explored in this illuminating documentary exploring the life and legacy of this mercurial icon.
Drama 2008 115 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s subtle, moving account of the tensions within a family is his most Ozu-like film.
Drama 1964 140 mins Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Mikhail Kalatozov’s epic about the Cuban Revolution is breathtaking both for its scope and the audacity.
Drama 2003 141 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s drama about four children left to fend for themselves is a heartbreaking study of childhood neglect.