19th Titanic Filmfestival

Festival Films Programs Press News

Stéphane Malandrine at Titanic

Stéphane Malandrine who made  Hand of the Headless Man Belgian thriller with his brother Guillaume is Titanic’s guest. 


Guillaume studied filmmaking, while Stéphane is into philosophy, and this is their first collaboration in directing, although they have worked together on films before, for nearly 10 years now. Stéphane writes children’s books besides filmmaking, and he told the audience during his Q&A on Wednesday in Toldi that their parents were psychoanalysts, so the two brothers sucked in the Freudian theories with their mother’s milk. The movie tells the story of a diver girl who takes part of a strange mental journey while recovering from an enormous trauma. The directors play a trick on the public’s knowledge and identification: the viewers know about as much as the hero, therefore they feel that by getting deeper and deeper into the mysterious and frightening story, they are going mad together with Eva. One of the greatest qualities of the movie is that at one point reality and imagination get completely intertwined, and the audience cannot decide anymore who is lying and who is not.

Stéphane told us that Guillaume was primarily interested in unconscious contents and cases when a person is deceived by his own mind or perception. Stéphane told him once about a dream of his in which he lost one of his hands and asked his brother to help him find it. Apart from the dream, the starting point of the film was the basilica as a building that according to the director, Belgians do not like very much as it reminds them more of a grave than a place to pray: the church remains empty the whole year. „It would have been difficult to shoot a comedy in this building, although we laugh a lot at this film, and the viewers also find many scenes rather humorous”. The public at the Q&A also wondered how the opening scene had been made: the thrilling but visually impressive images of the diving accident were made with the help of digital tricks.

The Hand of the Headless Man stars Cécile de France, whom the festival audience may have seen at the 14th Titanic International Film Festival on Gérard Depardieu’s side in The Singer and received a Cezar Award for her acting in L’auberge espagnole. In the Malandrine brothers’ film the father is embodied by the same Ulrich Tukur who appears in Das Leben der Anderen, Amen, Soderbergh’s Solaris or István Szabó’s Taking Sides.

You can view the movie for the last time on Saturday afternoon in KINO!

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