La Cravate (The Severed Heads) (1957)
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Critic Reviews for La Cravate (The Severed Heads)
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Audience Reviews for La Cravate (The Severed Heads)
This 20-minute short is surprisingly cute and innocuous, considering director Alejandro Jodorowsky's later work. Presumably, he discovered acid (and peyote, and...) sometime in the years between this film and "Fando y Lis." Jodorowsky himself plays the lead role as a naive lad who tries to improve his courtship success by swapping heads through a local merchant. The petite dealer removes her customers' heads as easily as unscrewing the top of a bottle. The illusion is primitively created through closeups and shared costumes, but has a lo-fi charm. There is no dialogue, and the story is wholly based in traditional pantomime (Jodorowsky was once part of Marcel Marceau's mime troupe). The ambience is very, very French, but foreshadows Jodorowsky's more extreme brand of surrealism to come. And the colors are wonderfully vivid, besides. It's interesting how the original title reflects the film's tone much better than the macabre American version.
I had exceptionally low expectations for Jodorowsky's long-lost debut film, but it's actually a rather effective bit of pantomine. The staginess of it is not a drawback at all, in fact it lends a certain charm. A dash of light surrealism hints at things to come, and the colors are striking. Not a major work, but a pleasant one.
A bizarre, surrealistic silent short film that evokes early Bunuel equally with Charlie Chaplin. Carboard props and sets function as the backdrop to the absurdist plot that involves a vendor of heads and man who seeks to please a woman by constantly trying on new heads. The film presages surrealistic nature of Jodorowsky's later work without any of the extreme sexuality and violence that so often is associated with him.
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