Arena del Sole > 09:00


André Delvaux


Sunday 25/07/2021


Original version with subtitles



Film Notes

As in those panel paintings that give a scene a temporal dimension in which each section relates to and relies on the others in a clever game of cross-references and reflections, we are here in the presence of a complex architecture where each element supports and relies on the others. For example, the young girl, Eufrazia Veenman, known as Fran, for whom the male lead, lawyer Govert Miereveld, harbours an impossible love, appears only in the first and third central sequences, which frame the autopsy of a stranger, which Govert, already ill, is forced to attend against his wishes. The representation of death follows one of beauty (the vision of Fran singing) and precedes the murder of beauty, when Govert, feeling that the object of his passion is unattainable and the same time debased, decides to kill her. […] The power of De man die zijn haar kort liet knippen is to objectively reproduce an internal experience, making us see the world through Govert’s eyes, and making us see Govert at the same time. […] Delvaux himself partakes in this conquest of a new dimension, of an anti-Marienbad internalised realism, where two currents of cinema might merge. […] It could be said of such an endeavour that in its realist aspect, it is profoundly romantic, that each detail denotes a higher. meaning, in the sense that Saint-Pol Roux said that “the physical world is a vase filled with the metaphysical”. […] We can also say of Delvaux’s film […] that not only is it metaphysical, but literary. I don’t find it displeasing that these two adjectives, sometimes chosen to signal the master stroke of a 40-year-old filmmaker, have also been chosen to discuss the paintings of the artist with whom he clearly identifies, Magritte. Delvaux acknowledged this relationship. […] The continual irruption of the mysterious in the quotidian, the fusion of the abstract with the concrete, of the rational with the irrational, the midpoint between sensory experience and abstract thought where contradictions are cancelled out, are also constants in Magritte’s universe. The same profound and menacing link between the living being and objects, the same power of the dream are present in the film, the outside world being, perhaps, only the extension of what goes on inside our heads.

Michel Ciment, “Positif ”, n. 82, March 1967

Cast and Credits

T. fr.: L’Homme au crâne rasé. Sog.: based on the novel of the same name (1947) by Johan Daisne. Scen.: André Delvaux, Anna de Pagter. F.: Ghislain Cloquet. M.: Suzanne Baron. Mus.: Frédéric Devreese. Scgf.: Jean-Claude Maes. Int.: Senne Rouffaer (Govert Miereveld), Beata Tyszkiewicz (Eufrazia ‘Fran’ Veerman), Hector Camerlynck (professor Mato), Hilde Uitterlinden (Beps), Annemarie Van Dijk (Corra), Hilda Van Roose (signorina Freken), François Beukelaers (il paziente), Arlette Emmery. Prod.: Paul Louyet, Jos Op De Beeck per Belgische Radio en Televisie (BRT), Ministerie van Nationale Opvoeding en Kultuur. DCP. Bn.