Thursday, 25 October 2007

THE FACE OF ANOTHER/Tanin no kao (1966)

Hiroshi Teshigahara's THE FACE OF ANOTHER shares some things in common with Jed Mercurio's version of FRANKENSTEIN although the films exist on entirely different levels of artistic achievement. Both explore the possibilities of synthetic flesh, identity and our releationship with a creator. A man loses his face in an industrial accident and becomes a guinea pig in an experiment using an artificial face - a mask so lifelike that it is almost undetectable. The film is a meditation on how much our personality is formed by our appearance, how our face/mask hides our real self from even our closest friends, relatives and lovers and how we might behave if we were free of the constraints placed on us by the face that we show to the world. Would our actual personalities change. Does the personality shape the face or vice versa? As in FRANKENSTEIN - the book rather than version reviewed below - the central character of this film sees himself in his new life as the product of a creator, a doctor (the God metaphor is not strained), and as we break free from our parents/circmstance/God so must he. "I am no one" he tells an arresting policmen just before the film's chilling conclusion. The film is beautifully directed and stunningly shot in crisp monochrome images. Rating *****


Cerpts said...

This looks and sounds wonderful! I'm going to have to watch out for this one.

Oh and by the way, I love the KISS ME DEADLY image at the top of your blog!

Cerpts said...

This is actually a very interesting thought: movies about masks. Obviously, although they are totally unlike each other, this movie brought to mind the mask in Onibaba. And then there's Les Yeux Sans Visage, The Phantom of the Opera of course, The Man in the Iron Mask. . .how many others, I wonder.

Masks are interesting things, ain't they?

poopypuss said...

This is one that I look forward to CREEPING ME OUT !!
Just in time for Halloween !
Thanks !