Today’s Fabulous Fifties movie was supposed to be Back from the Dead, but alas I couldn’t find it online, so I had to improvise…and man oh man am I glad I did. I found another freaky film from France from the same year called La Cravate. It’s in color and there’s no dialogue in the film.
I don’t know how to classify this film in regards to genre. It’s that trippy, Let me sum up the plot…it’s about a guy who is out walking one day and comes across a store where a girl sells heads. That’s right…HUMAN HEADS.
There’s a bit with bully who gets a new head before our main character. Instead of getting his own new head, he gets a paper flower and takes back to his lady love who spurns him heartlessly, but it is obvious that she is enamored of his body, but not so much his looks.
This sparks the guy to go back and get a new head from the pretty girl who sales them He tries and tries several heads, but alas his love spurns them all until he gets the head of the bully. But of course the girlfriend acts interested, but spurns this head as well. There’s a great moment when the bully takes off his cravat (neck tie) an makes a noose and appears that he will strangle the girlfriend…which would have been lovely, but instead he returns to the store to retrieve his original head only to find out the head store is now a hat shop run by strangers.
Meanwhile the nice shop girl has the original head on he mantel over her fireplace and is quite content having it as her trophy. At one point she sticks a recorder in its mouth and they playa moment, but eventually she places a glass over it and goes to bed. The head weeps in longing for something…either her or freedom.
Ultimately the bully finds the girl shopkeepers house after a strange scene with a street urchin with a basket full of strangeness. He goes into her house and she switches heads. The street urchin ends up with the bully’s head as a toy and our main character struggles to leave the girl, but his body won’t let him. So he throws away his cravat and is then free to be her lover.
Ahhh, the French! I told you…it’s both creepy and lovely. It’s based on an old Sanskrit story translate d by Thomas Mann. The film itself is only a little over 20 minutes and was thought lost for over 50 years, but a copy was found in a German attack in 2006. It was directed by Alejandro Jodorovsky the man who also gave us Santa Sangre and The Rainbow Thief. We’re filling this under the literary term of Short Form.
Click HERE to watch online for free.