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Tsai Ming-liang on ‘Your Face,’ the Cinematic Power of Close-Ups, and Teaming with Ryuichi Sakamoto

Renowned Taiwan-based filmmaker and Venice mainstay Tsai Ming-liang returns to the Lido this year with his latest, uncategorizable offering Your Face. Premiering out of competition in the non-fiction section, the 76-minute picture consists of unbroken close-up shots of 13 unidentified, seemingly unrelated people, including Mr. Tsai’s muse Lee Kang-sheng.

In signature Tsai style, the camera calmly, unquestioningly observes its subjects, some of which share stranger-than-fiction life stories, others appear deep in unknowable thought while still others simply doze off. Without the aid of title cards or voice-overs, the viewer is left to arrive at their own conclusion about what they’ve witnessed.

It’s our third encounter with Mr. Tsai on Lido following 2015 for the doc-narrative hybrid That Afternoon and 2017 for the Vr-trip The Deserted.

Could you talk about the initial idea for Your Face? What made you to want to do a film in this particular way?

When I was making the Vr film,

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