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Holy Motors (movie)

'Eyes Without a Face' balances lyrical with horror

'Eyes Without a Face' balances lyrical with horror

It's a classic variation on the eternal triangle: brilliant doctor, innocent subject and the transgressive experimentation that binds and threatens to destroy them. In the case of the elegant creepfest "Eyes Without a Face," the patient is the doctor's disfigured daughter, and his single-minded pursuit of a remedy is motivated by guilt as much as by hubris and love.

The lyrical and the gruesome have seldom entwined so seamlessly or with such disturbing power as they do in Georges Franju's 1960 feature, a tale of mad science and fatherly devotion gone extravagantly wrong. Upon its release in France, critics struggled to reconcile the movie's straight-up horror with its...