7.0/10
954
5 user 4 critic

L'homme sans tête (2003)

With two fabulous tickets to tonight's ball in his hands, the solitary Mr Phelps needs to find the perfect head to please his charming date. Will he risk it all for love?

Director:

(as Juan Diego Solanas)

Writer:

Reviews
8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Nordeste (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An accidental meeting between a French woman who goes to South America to adopt a baby and an Argentinian woman who with her small son leaves their hopeless village in search for a better life, changes both of their lives forever.

Director: Juan Solanas
Stars: Carole Bouquet, Aymará Rovera, Mercedes Sampietro
Copy Shop (2001)
Drama | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Unknowingly, a copy shop employee sets off a bizarre series of events with utterly unforeseen consequences.

Director: Virgil Widrich
Stars: Johannes Silberschneider, Elisabeth Ebner-Haid
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A plain, ordinary man tells us about his work as a real-estate broker, his dead father, his ordinary home and so on in a naturalistic voice, lacking any emotions, looking straight into the ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Andersson
Stars: Klas-Gösta Olsson, Lennart Björklund, Christer Christensen
Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A mysterious knight gallops across mountains and deserts. He comes to a majestic citadel in the middle of an oasis. Within its walls, children drink from the stream of knowledge. At the top... See full summary »

Director: Juan Solanas
Stars: Nicolas Cazalé
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two French college girls each meet a boy named Patrick and quickly realize that it is less a coincidence then they think.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Anne Collette, Nicole Berger
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lewis Carroll's poem is read and followed by a free-form animated depiction of images and toys from childhood, repeatedly overturned by a live cat.

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Birger is old and retired from work. Still, he goes back to work since he has nothing else to do. Back home he gets a rare visitor: a girl from Hare Krishna recruiting new members. But his ... See full summary »

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Sten Ljunggren, Cecilia Frode, Erich Hörtnagl
Fridge (1995)
Short | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a squalid tenement building in Glasgow, two toughs lock a helpless young boy inside a broken fridge-freezer.

Director: Peter Mullan
Stars: Gary Lewis, Vicki Masson, Laurie Ventry
Upside Down I (2012)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Adam and Eden fell in love as teens despite the fact that they live on twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions. Ten years after a forced separation, Adam sets out on a dangerous quest to reconnect with his love.

Director: Juan Solanas
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

On the run from the police in a desperate attempt to escape a pair of Civil Guardians, a peaceful gas-station worker embarks on a frenzied road adventure.

Director: Javier Fesser
Stars: Ramón Langa, Pablo Pinedo, Pietro Olivera
Nothing (2003)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After a terrible day, two good friends and housemates find the outside world converted into a featureless and empty white void.

Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Gordon Pinsent
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

On his way to the polls, an idealist, yet absent-minded voter has to endure continuous waves of racist cab drivers and their offensive remarks.

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Jens Jørn Spottag, John Martinus
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Laurent Bert ...
Un client du bar
Yannick Blivet ...
Le vendeur de journaux (voice)
Christophe Botti ...
Le vendeur de têtes bellâtre
Stephane Botti ...
La deuxième tête
Ambre Boukebza ...
La jeune femme
Patrick Béthune ...
Le fleuriste / Un docker (voice)
Damien Carrand ...
Le vendeur de journaux
Laurent Casanova ...
L'homme au vélo
Evelyne Chartier ...
Le corps de la cliente âgée au visage jeune
Jacques Cusin ...
L'acheteur de journaux
...
L'une des trois jeunes femmes (as Andrée Rozenn)
Alain Donadio ...
Un docker
Laure Dratler ...
L'une des trois jeunes femmes (voice)
Philippe Ferrandini ...
Un docker
Danielle Hazan ...
Les clientes / L'une des trois jeunes femmes (voice)
Edit

Storyline

With two fabulous tickets to tonight's ball in his hands, the solitary Mr Phelps sees a ray of light shine in the bleak industrialised world he lives in--and without a single doubt--he already knows whom to ask for his date: the charming lady in the picture on his desk. Just by looking at her, his eyes gleam with joy and anticipation; tonight the elegant dancer shall summon up the courage to declare his undying love for her, and for this reason, he may even find a suitable head to match his feelings. Will he risk it all for love? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ball | lover | industrial | sea | bleak | See All (22) »

Genres:

Short | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre sin cabeza  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The post production lasted 900 days. See more »

Connections

Featured in Phelps l'homme sans tête - Making of (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

All of you
Composed by Cole Porter (1954)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A real visual and stylist treat with a meaning that, although not clear, will still have you thinking
30 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

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.


19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page