San Sebastian Announces Retrospective of Georges Franju

The showcase will screen works from the French filmmaker's career like "Head Against the Wall."

MADRID - French filmmaker Georges Franju will be the subject of the first retrospective programmed for the 60th San Sebastian Festival, organizers announced Friday.

Calling the director, who died in 1987, "an enormously influential figure in French film culture," the festival said it will screen a showcase of his work precisely in the year he would have turned 100.

His career as a director began in 1949 with documentaries. His early works - Le Sang des betes, Hotel des Invalides and En passant par la Lorraine – already demonstrated his particular talent for filming reality from unexpected angles, a trait leading in these testimonial films to a sensitivity akin to surrealism and expressionism.

"Franju’s obsession with putting his finger on the inexpressible poetry of things through his lens stayed with him as he moved on to feature films with La Tete contre les murs (Head Against the Wall,1958), followed by Les Yeux sans visage (Eyes Without a Face,1959), considered to be a masterpiece of fantasy film. His fascination with popular culture, with the feuilleton soap-operas and silent film serials, is clearly visible in movies like Pleins feux sur l’assassin (1960), Judex (1963) and Nuits rouges (1974), true exercises in style striving to recover the innocence of those old narrations of intrigue and mystery in an obvious vindication of film as visual, narrative pleasure," the festival said.

San Sebastian will run Sept. 21-29 this year.