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Georges Franju
1948 France 21 minutes French

Presented by Éric Le Roy, head of Collections at the CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée

At the gates of Paris, you meet lovers and children. There is also the unusual within the real, the poetic, the fantastic. Incredible objects… We also encounter death and anguish. At the Vaugirard slaughterhouses, near the Ourcq canal, death is a daily occurrence. Horrible too: the blood flows, the heads come off, the bones burst, to the point of disgust. Horse bled, cow skinned, calves and sheep decapitated. However, the work is done there with skill and carelessness. With the night come tenderness and calm.


Created by the law of October 25, 1946, the “National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image” (CNC) is a public administrative establishment placed under the supervision of the minister responsible for culture, and headed by a president. The CNC has legal personality and is endowed with financial autonomy. It provides unity for the design and implementation of State policy in the fields of cinema and other moving image arts and industries, in particular those of audiovisual, video and multimedia. The Cinematographic Heritage Department, located in Bois d’Arcy, is in charge of the direct and indirect management of French cinematographic heritage activity. It manages the conservation, safeguarding, restoration and cataloging of films on all media, entrusted to the CNC. His laboratory manages the technical issues specific to old films and carries out photochemical and digital restoration work.

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Georges Franju

Theater decorator then poster artist, Georges Franju (1912-1987) accepted a job in a printing press and met Henri Langlois. Together, they shot their first short film in 1934, Métro. In 1936, he then contributed to the creation of the Cinémathèque française. Between 1948 and 1958, Georges Franju directed thirteen short films and established himself as one of the leaders of French documentary makers. With his first feature film (he shot eight of them), La Tête contre les murs (1958), starring Jean-Pierre Mocky and adapted by him, he mirrors the psychiatric institution and the “normal” world. Other very personal works followed, such as Les Yeux sans visage, with Edith Scob, who became his favorite actress. Franju was a free and iconoclastic filmmaker, not belonging to any spiritual family. The only link between all his films is a militant claim in favor of dreams and freedom.

Production :
Forces et voix de France
Restorer :
Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée, in collaboration with La Cinémathèque française
Contact :
Éric Le Roy -
Progress stage :
Restoration completed
Availability Date :