More than two decades after directing “The Blue Villa” with Alain Robbe-Grillet, Dimitri de Clercq makes his solo debut here, with a film as much about memory as Robbe-Grillet’s most famous screenwriting credit, “Last Year at Marienbad.” Shot in Moroco, “You Go to My Head” is as consumed with offering stunning visuals as that Alain Resnais reverie, but it lacks any of its substance. De Clercq’s clear directorial talent gives the film the illusion of respectability, but it can’t remove the sweaty sheen of smarm.
Belgian model Delfine Bafort stars as a beauty who stumbles across the Sahara after a car accident leaves her unable to remember who she is. When lonely architect Jake (Svetozar Cvetkovic) finds her, he convinces her that her name is Kitty and that he is her husband. Though Kitty begins to adjust to life at Jake’s perfectly designed, isolated home, she slowly — oh, so slowly — discovers that he may not be who he claims to be.
De Clercq has made the classiest exploitation movie one can imagine. Each shot from director of photography Stijn Grupping is lovelier than the last, taking advantage of the planes of Bafort’s face, the curves of her body and colors of the desert vista. There’s an interesting approach to the standard amnesia story somewhere in this languidly paced drama, but it largely seems engineered to show its lead actress nude for the pleasure of her much-older “husband,” the director himself and those in the audience unconcerned with Kitty as a human being.
Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes
Playing: Starts Feb. 21, Laemmle Glendale