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Today is Georges Franju’s birth date ( he is a figure of immense importance in the history of French cinema, not primarily for his films (exceptional though many of these are) but for being the co-founder, with Henri Langlois, of the Cinematheque Française in 1937–France’s most famous and important film archive.

He worked primarily as a film archivist until 1949, when he made his solo directorial debut with the shocking yet lyrical slaughterhouse documentary Le sang des bêtes / Blood of the Beasts (1949) More documentary shorts followed before his feature debut, The Keepers (1959) in 1958.
which established his uniquely poetic and visually striking style (his films were generally characterized by unforgettable images that owed a great deal to early cinema in general and German Expressionism in particular). His reputation was strengthened with the bizarre plastic surgery horror film Eyes Without a Face (1960); Judex (1963), a tribute to French film serial pioneer Louis Feuillade in 1963; and the Jean Cocteau adaptation Thomas the Impostor (1965), though in the last 15 years of his life he was sadly neglected.

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