Monday, September 14, 2009
Face of Another: Hiroshi Toshiguhara (19.02.09)
A man badly disfigured in an inductrial accident which he caused is rejected physically by his wife. The doctor treaing him persuades him to try a new technique which requires him to select a live person's face which is then somehow fitted over his while still leaving the original intact and still in place. He does this and sets out to seduce his wife which he does successfully only to find out from her that she knew about it all along. he leaves her and the film ends with his killing the doctor. The film is low key with no 'horror' images as seen in 'Yeux Sans Visages', for example, though there are some deliberate distortions through various items of laboratory equipment. Near the end there is a rather disturbing scene of the man and doctor walking against a crowd of masked figures. The question of the extent to which appearance determines identity and behavious lies at the heart of the film and no real conclusion is reached. The man has a new face which gives him a new confident approach yet he is still the same husband that his wife has always known despite her physical rejection of him earlier in the film - her willingness to be seduced was because she thought that was what he wanted rather than any weakness on her part. A Japanese existential movie which is not as well known as it should be.