in about 100 words or less
Belgium 94m, B&W
Director: André Delvaux; Cast: Senne Rouffaer, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Hector Camerlynck, Hilde Uitterlinden, Annemarie Van Dijk, Hilda Van Roose
An interesting but baffling drama, The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short is the story of a schoolteacher who is secretly enamored with one of his graduating students. Married with two children, Govert is apparently driven to madness by his desire for the young Fran Veerman. As much of this story is told from the feelings, thoughts and imagination of the film’s protagonist, it begins to make less sense as Govert loses his mind. If incomprehensibility was the goal of the filmmaker, then Delvaux has succeeded. However, as with a number of “intellectual” films, I would argue that lack of clarity should not be confused with complexity, and that in this case, finding meaning in the film’s increasingly incoherent plot has diminishing returns (Klaus Ming February 2016).