Edith Scob, the Paris-born Russian actress who played the part of Christiane in Georges Franju's LES YEUX SANS VISAGE (U.S. title, EYES WITHOUT A FACE), passed away earlier this year on 26 June at the age of 81. The 1960 French/Italian production was also known in the U.S. as THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS.
As mentioned in the article from THE GUARDIAN online, Scob's role is one of the breakout performances in French cinema. Anyone one who has seen this film can attest to it's modern gothic stylings and atmospheric sets, all set to the excellent score by the great Maurice Jarre, who is known for his masterpieces for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and THE LONGEST DAY. Scob's performance has often been called "poetic" by film historians and critics.
Following the article below is a feature from issue #27 of the French version of Warren's CREEPY.
|The gruesome "face transplant" scene was cut in the U.S. version.|
Eyes Without a Face star Édith Scob dies aged 81
French actor was famed for role as the masked protagonist in the cult classic before resurgence in films such as Holy Motors
Édith Scob, the French actor best known for her first starring role in the creepy 1960 Georges Franju horror film Eyes Without a Face, has died aged 81. Her agent confirmed the news to AFP, saying she had died on Wednesday in Paris. No cause of death was disclosed.
Scob’s role in Eyes Without a Face is one of the great breakout performances in French cinema. Playing the daughter of a surgeon who undergoes extensive skin grafts after her face is disfigured, she spends much of the film swathed in bandages or wearing a mask, only her eyes visible. Scob’s ethereal, expressive qualities made a stunning impact and the film has remained a cult favourite.
Modern audiences are more likely to know her for her appearance in Leos Carax’s 2012 film Holy Motors, where she played a limousine driver taking Denis Lavant’s mysterious Oscar to his “appointments”. At the end of the film she dons a mask in homage to her iconic role.
Born Édith Scobeltzine in Paris in 1937 into a family of Russian immigrants, Scob studied at the Sorbonne and embarked on a stage career in the late 1950s. She quickly made headway in cinema, and was cast in a small role in Georges Franju’s Head Against the Wall in 1959, before securing her first leading role in Eyes Without a Face. Scob would go on to make three more features with the director, including the 1963 revenge thriller Judex.
On screen, Scob worked steadily, with roles in films such as Luis Buñuel’s 1969 film The Milky Way (in which she played the Virgin Mary), Jacques Rivette’s 1994 Jeanne la Pucelle (as Jeanne de Béthune). A resurgence in the late 90s saw her cast in the popular French hit Venus Beauty and Raúl Ruiz’s Proust adaptation Time Regained, both released in 1999. Since the turn of the century she has been nominated for César awards for best supporting actress for Olivier Assayas’ family chamber piece Summer Hours in 2008 and Holy Motors in 2012.
Scob maintained a high-profile stage career alongside her film work, with a string of roles in French drama, including Racine, Molière and Anouilh. In 1976 in collaboration with her partner, the composer George Aperghis, she founded the avant garde theatre group Atem (Atelier Théâtre et Musique), designed to involve the disadvantaged in the deprived suburbs of Paris.