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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.
This film is like a surrealistic painting and a poetry in the same shell. The subject of the film is very actual- the flimsiness with which we base our choices in life and in love especially. It's about how people try to appear beautiful and pleasant to others, it's about our insecurity and our crave to be loved and appreciated by others. There is a french delicacy in every scene, in the music, maybe a little humor, a ingenious combination of time dimensions. The visual art is overwhelming, due to the 4 years spent to make this short-film. "Homme sans tête" has a charm which remains after you've seen it. For me was a totally surprise and a joy in the same time.
THE MAN WITHOUT A HEAD is naturally a very strange film--after all, the
title character is a man without a head!! Oddly, when he walks about
town, no one seems to take much notice. Despite this serious malady, he
seems to function just fine and can speak--asking a lady over the phone
if she'd like to go to the ball with him. The trouble is that without a
head, he's worried she won't like him. So naturally, he goes to a head
shop (get it?) and buys a head. But when it comes time to put on his
handsome new head, there is a complication.
While the plot of this film is enough to give you a headache, don't take it too seriously. Understand that it is an experimental film and a very surreal one at that. When you let go of your need to have a conventional plot, then you'll notice just how incredibly groundbreaking and exciting this film is. You just can't help admire all the work that went into this film as well as its sweet sense of humor. A rare visual treat.
By the way, this film is part of the CINEMA 16: European Shorts DVD. On this DVD are 16 shorts. Most aren't great, though because it contains THE MAN WITHOUT A HEAD, COPY SHOP, RABBIT and WASP, it's an amazing DVD for lovers of short films and well worth buying.
i saw this little big surprise at the Athens Film Festival tonight and was stunned. I thought it was very poetic and completely surreal. I believe that its main influence was Jean Pierre Jeunet whose cinematic vision seems to spread on to new evangelists. Formidable, elegant and ...extremely expensive-looking for a short. A treat.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"L'homme sans tête" or "The Man without a Head" is a French-language short film by Argentinean movie maker Juan Diego Solanas. This one is from 13 years ago and the title already gives away the basic plot. A man is preparing for a date, but despite being well-dressed and ready for the woman of his dreams, there is still one thing missing: his head. This is also what he keeps searching for almost the entirety of this 18-minute film. I guess in the end the message is with staying who you are and being happy this way instead of trying to be somebody else. It was all very vague. It was obvious to understand the action in here, but i am not sure what the writer's intention was with this one. It is a strange little film and I cannot say I am too surprised Solanas hasn't had a great breakthrough in the almost 15 years since this was made. Overall, I give it a thumbs-down.
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