TNB Night Owl–La Cravate

After last week’s three hour epic, I thought I’d do something a little shorter this week. Okay, a lot shorter. This one clocks in at twenty minutes. It’s a short romantic French movie.

It’s also a pantomime.

The title is LA CRAVATE (1957) or, as it’s more commonly known, THE SEVERED HEAD.

Seriously, it’s a romance.

This was one of the first forays into film for director/comic book author Alejandro Jodoworsky. He would later become famous for directing EL TOPO (one of the first midnight movies) and more commonly known to slasher film fans for SANTA SANGRE. More recently, he became famous for writing the version of DUNE that was cursed from the very beginning.

But before he shot his first frame, Chilean Jodorowsky had moved to France to become a mime working alongside, and sometimes writing for, Marcel Marceau. So if anyone is going to do a mime movie, he’s got the chops.

Jodorowsky (credited here as Alexandre Jodorowsky) himself directs, wrote, and starred in this movie based on a Thomas Mann short story. His character tries everything he can to impress his lover. In a desperate attempt to win her affection, he goes to a shop to exchange his head for a different one. He tries more handsome, more cheerful, more debonair. Throughout the process, he learns not just what real, true love is, but also learns to become comfortable in his own skin (and skull).

It’s strange. It’s sweet. And it’s short. The upside of it being a pantomime is that I didn’t have to find a subtitled version.

Question of the night–Mimes, cool or creepy?

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