Waiting for Il Cinema Ritrovato: “Georges Franju: beyond reality”

Georges Franju, who co-founded the Cinémathèque française, devoted a great deal of energy to ensuring the recognition of scientific filmmaking. It is in this apparently marginal category of the seventh art that he found the key to the mechanisms of fear in the cinema. Indeed, long before making his own unforgettable and unique feature films, he had discovered that “the strange is only what is familiar, seen suddenly in a new light.” Each of his thirteen short films is based on this premise. He never subverts a commission. He plays the game. He enquires into the modern world and it is there that he finds fear and horror. Unfailingly, he puts his finger on the pulse of the era, before or after the war – as in Le Sang des bêtes which speaks of everyday, professional mass murder. His films speak of science and of death, of destroying the past and the planet, of the wonder of magic, tragedy, and dreams. “I am,” he said, “a realist and therefore a surrealist.”

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