Phelps, a solitary man who lives in a big industrial city by the sea, is very happy tonight. He is getting ready for a ball. And not any ball, a dance to which the young woman he loves has ...
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Jens Jørn Spottag,
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Phelps, a solitary man who lives in a big industrial city by the sea, is very happy tonight. He is getting ready for a ball. And not any ball, a dance to which the young woman he loves has agreed to come. Tonight he will declare his flame and and it makes him feel like dancing... But there is something wrong with Phelps, at least in his own "eyes": he does not have a head! That is why he sets out to buy a head that suits him to please his lady... Written by
A real visual and stylist treat with a meaning that, although not clear, will still have you thinking
A shy man lives in the big city alone. When he gets two free tickets to the ball he invites a girl he has had his eye on for quite a while. She agrees to meet him later and go as his date. He dresses well but he feels rather self-conscious because he has no head and never has. He sets out to buy some flowers and a head before meeting his date, but finding a head that suits him is no easy task.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this film but, given that it was about a man with no head, I was quite sure that it would be a little out of the ordinary and I was right! The film follows our man of the title getting ready for his date and trying to find the right head. He isn't happy with his choices at the shop and even the one he eventually settles on has problems; it is enjoyable, weird, moving and amusing but, what does it all mean. Well, that's the thing I'm not entirely sure. I think it was about image and just being comfortable with who you are instead of trying to be what society or peers want you to be, a valid message (although if you are 25 stone and don't wash then you should give into some image pressure!) and certainly the one that appears to be being made here but this is not the sole appeal of the short.
If it was preachy or a little full of itself then I would have been turned off but it wasn't. Instead it is light, fanciful and imaginative. Technically the direction is very good although I'm sure experts will tell me that the 'no-head' effect is very simple. What isn't so simple is making a character out of a headless man and in this the direction is even better. We care about this guy and we feel for him when he is shy, sad and temporarily happy. The film also serves us a practical feast as it establishes a wonderful urban world that is real but yet fantastic the whole film looks amazing and I never took my eyes off it. The 'man' of the film is well done and the actors who play him do well with the body language. The dance moves are fitting with the fanciful nature of the film but special mention should go to the black head (bad turn of phrase but you know what I mean!) who really did well with one scene I was convinced he was seeing himself for the first time.
Overall a very imaginative little short that is fun, fanciful, imaginative, emotive and interesting. The plot is open to interpretation but I think it is reasonably clear and, even if you don't bother to look for a message there is still plenty for you to enjoy here.
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