Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Movie: Une grosse tête

Une grosse tête from 1961 is a funny little French film written by Francois Truffaut and directed by his pal, Claude de Givray. The film stars Eddie Constantine. It's a forgotten gem, though not a great film in any meaning of the phrase, but entertaining, witty and inventive all the way.

The film is a parody of many Hollywood genres alongside with French genre films, especially those with Constantine in the lead: the Lemmy Caution, Nick Carter and OSS 117 films. There are some funny scenes in which Constantine fights some other guys and they are acted out like the outrageous scenes in those films. The film begins like a weird western film in which a stranger - Eddie Constantine in his glider! - comes to rescue an old man from some baddies who want to buy the old man's house and build a skyscraper instead. But then suddenly something completely different ensues! I'm pretty sure this is one of the very few feature films to have karting races at the center of things. The film changes tones in an instant and it also features some Nouvelle Vague type of loose editing and shooting. The ending made in a grand style of The Giant or some such epic is priceless.

The film also boasts two very beautiful female actors, Alexandra Stewart and (I believe, as not all the actors are credited in IMDb) Genevièvé Galéa (the mother of Emmanuelle Béart, no less!).

I'd recommend this to all friends of French New Wave and some others too, since it's so light and not to be taken seriously, but seems like it's very hard to find. I just saw the 35 mm print held in the Finnish Film Archive. The film seems to have been shown in American TV as A Fat Head and in England as A Swelled Head. In Finland it was called Kovat kurvit ("Hard Curves" or some such).

More Overlooked Films here.

Here's a French rock band featured in the film playing a song called "Rock des Karts":

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