Good news from Eureka: next month their Masters of Cinema collection will release La Tête Contre Les Murs (The Head Against The Walls), the full-length debut of Georges Franju. Franju is known by most cult enthusiasts as the director of the essential horror movie Les Yeux Sans Visage (if you haven’t seen it now, cancel all other engagements and watch it) and the crime caper Judex.
Franju’s debut is described by Eureka as “an intense study of the clash between medical ideals […] Mocky plays François Gérane, an aimless young man whose delinquent tendencies cause his father to have him committed to a psychiatric ward. There, under the cold command of Dr. Varmont (Brasseur), he finds himself fighting for his dignity, sanity, and freedom, barely holding on through the new-found love of his girlfriend Stephanie (Aimée) and the promise of rival Dr. Emery’s (Meurisse) more humane techniques.
Compassionate yet unflinching, La Tête contre les murs is a bold precursor to the likes of Samuel Fuller’s Shock Corridor and Milos Forman’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, revealing Franju’s poetic gift for creating images both concrete and evocative, and an ominous hint of the clinical horrors yet to come in Les yeux sans visage.”
Here’s a look at the special features:
• Original French theatrical trailer
• A new video interview with Jean-Pierre Mocky filmed in 2008
• A new video interview with Charles Aznavour filmed in 2008
• 48-page booklet containing newly-translated interviews with Georges Franju, newly-translated writing by Jean-Luc Godard, and an article by Raymond Durgnat (author of Franju).
Sounds good, especially bearing in mind the excellent work Masters of Cinema had done on their release of Judex, an edition you’ll want to have in your collection.
Later in the year (though no date has been set) Eureka will also release Die Finanzes des Grosherzogs and Phantom, two rarer films by F.W. Mürnau. Keep an eye on those as well…
Here’s a link to the entire Masters of Cinema collection.