The Face of Another (1966)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Sci-Fi


The Face of Another (1966) Poster

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

8/10
5,959

Photos

  • Miki Irie in The Face of Another (1966)
  • Tatsuya Nakadai in The Face of Another (1966)
  • Mikijirô Hira and Tatsuya Nakadai in The Face of Another (1966)
  • The Face of Another (1966)
  • The Face of Another (1966)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Awards

2 wins.

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


12 January 2008 | nin-chan
9
| The Arbitrariness Of Identity
Teshigahara has never shied away from examining the more unsettling dimensions of human experience. With the trilogy of full-length collaborations with Kobo Abe, Teshigahara encapsulated the Kafkaesque hellishness of quotidian life, the yawning, gaping chasm of emptiness that lies beneath the veneer of stability.

The ubiquitous influence of the French absurdists/existentialists, Kafka and Dostoevsky looms large here- one is reminded most often of Sartre's "No Exit", R.D. Laing's "Knots" and Dostoevsky's "Crime And Punishment". Sartre, Laing and Abe all underline how little autonomy we really have over constituting our own identities- often, we may find that we exist only as beings-for-others, entirely 'encrusted' within personas not of our own making, but assigned to us. For Okuyama and the unnamed scarred woman, they are imprisoned in their vulgar corporeality. Met with revulsion everywhere, they come to accept ugliness as an indelible mark of their being. Trapped within the oppressive confines of flesh, they cannot evade the pity and repugnance that their countenances arouse. It is little wonder that Okuyama becomes self-lacerating and embittered.

Throughout the film, the viewer confronts how precarious identity truly is- the assumption that selves are continuous and linear from day-to-day rests entirely on the visage. The doctor's paroxysm of inspiration in the beer hall affords a glimpse into the anarchic potential of his terrible invention, one that would rend civilization asunder. Indeed, the final epiphany is particularly unnerving- "some masks come off, some don't". We all erect facades, smokescreens of self that we maintain with great effort.

Beneath the epidermis, as Okuyama discovers, is vacuity and nihility. This is likely the explanation for Okuyama's gratuitous, Raskolnikov-esquire acts of crime at the conclusion of the film- faced with the frontierless void of freedom, he desires to be apprehended and branded by society. Integration into society, after all, requires a socially-assigned, unified role, constituted by drivers licenses, serial numbers and criminal records. Without such things, Okuyama is a non-entity.

Aesthetically, the film exhibits all the rigour and poetry of Teshigahara's other work. Cocteau, Ernst and Duchamp, in particular, are notable wellsprings for the film's visual grammar. Literate, expressionistic and profoundly disorienting, this might be my favorite Teshigahara work.

Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • Pitfall

    Pitfall

  • Woman in the Dunes

    Woman in the Dunes

  • Rikyu

    Rikyu

  • The Man Without a Map

    The Man Without a Map

  • Kwaidan

    Kwaidan

  • Onibaba

    Onibaba

  • The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer

    The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer

  • The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

    The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

  • Gô-hime

    Gô-hime

  • Samurai Rebellion

    Samurai Rebellion

  • The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

    The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

  • Harakiri

    Harakiri

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | Sci-Fi

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Can't Get Enough of "Barry"

The "Game of Thrones" star loves all things HBO, and shares why two of their shows top his Watchlist.

What is Nikolaj watching?

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to superheroes, horror movies, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com