The Face of Another (I Have a Stranger's Face) (Tanin no kao) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Face of Another (I Have a Stranger's Face) (Tanin no kao) Reviews

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September 14, 2015
year s/b 1966 not '67 besides that i found this 2b really creepy still today & one more thing would make a perfect dbl feature with 'eyes without a face" or 'open your eyes'
March 20, 2015
The concept is simple, but the themes are subtle and complex. After being disfigured in an accident, a doctor gives the burn victim a new mask, which slowly makes him more like the original owner of the face. Themes of identity, shallowness, and all sorts of philosophical and psychological themes are apparent. The movie is a bit on the slow side, and the doctor knows that something will happen to the burn victim, so it takes away a bit of the suspense. Laden with hidden layers, The Face of Another is an intriguing drama sci-fi film.
½ September 6, 2014
Although it leaves me cold emotionally, this movie is visually stunning and intelligent.
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2013
The Face of Another, unlike Pitfall is highly symbolic and relatable. It's a story of identity, and the constant way humans cover up imperfections. Highly philosophical and especially the first half has deep thoughts. Add this to the beautiful but simple visuals, and it's a real treat. This reminded me of so many other films. The Elephant Man and The House is Black immediately come to mind. Then the surreal first half brought Persona and Un Chien Andalou into the mix. I talk about the first half more since it was far more memorable. After the mask came on this became more straightforward, and less stunning. It still brought up interesting new ideas, but lost the spookiness, and emptiness. Which perhaps was intentional, since by the end the main character is completely transformed. I love the opening scene, and all the scenes involving the creation of the mast. Enjoyable art movie.
February 3, 2013
One of the most incredible psychological thrillers ever made, shot in vacant and cavernous hospital rooms, streets loaded with bodies and the insides of doomed houses. It is deeply unsettling in its portrayal of a man stripped of his identity, only to find out later his "identity" really was his "mask" after all. Powerful stuff, and as always with a Japanese film, shot and framed very, very precisely and meticulously.
January 12, 2013
A ground-breaking Japanese drama of a existential commentary on plastic surgery and identity with incredible visuals and acting.
½ November 10, 2012
Passable foreign film. I thought it was interesting and I liked the subplot too. A little too long but worth watching at least once.
October 25, 2012
The Close-Up: Mary Ann Doane
"the face is that bodily part not accessible to subject's own gaze"
proximity vs. distance & large vs. small
close-up engages the spectator

"Even monsters have their pleasure."
--continual freeze frame
--scene of him in the mirror, playing with his face and expressions
"mask has its own character"
"getting drunk a mask in itself"
seduces his wife, mask is half-on during fight (postsex)
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2012
"Civilization demands light, even at night. But a man without a face is free only when darkness rules the world."

The high-concept plot of "The Face of Another" suggests a horror film, but it's really more of a psychological think-piece. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai) is a business executive whose face has been gruesomely burnt in a chemical accident. He spends his day wrapped behind bandages, bitterly loathing himself and his plight. Even his wife can't bear to be around him anymore. But Okuyama finds a doctor with a sophisticated procedure for taking a mold of another face (the two pay a random man for the privilege) and creating an undetectable, form-fitting mask.

The doctor is brimming with philosophy about the relationship between face and personality, and warns there will be emotional repercussions when Okuyama changes the interface through which he views the world and it views him. Eventually, the issue narrows to the familiar scenario of the implausibly unrecognized husband trying to seduce his wife as a "stranger" to see what happens. Somewhat disappointing.

Director Hiroshi Teshigahara ("Woman in the Dunes," "Pitfall") also makes a strange choice to add a second, sketchier story that never intersects with the first. This tale follows another person with disfiguring facial scars -- this time, a once-pretty young woman who's apparently living in some sort of asylum. The purpose of this sidelight is somewhat mysterious and unresolved, as is a peculiar subplot about a girl with a baffling fixation on yo-yos. Like with Teshigahara's other well-known films, existential issues of identity are a prime concern and the imagery has a surreal, allegorical quality that Rod Serling would have appreciated.
June 15, 2012
Filme genial sobre um sujeito que tem o rosto desfigurado num acidente e que recebe uma nova face atrav (C)s de um m (C)dico cheio de teorias absurdas sobre personalidade. Questionamentos pós modernos ao longo de todo o filme: somos um, ou somos vários? Como (C) continuamos tendo a sensação de sermos a mesma pessoa se mudamos a cada dia? Porque desejamos continuar a viver se a morte (C) certa? Como seria uma sociedade onde todos são absolutamente livres? Enfim, qual (C) a condição de liberdade?
½ April 30, 2012
What's the problem with wearing the mask? Just bear with it. And the philosophical discussion was shit.
April 2, 2012
Hiroshi Teshigahara's "Face of Another" is a surrealistic masterpiece. Delving deep into the mind of an outwardly scarred man, the film discovers that the true nature of disfigurements exist not simply on a surface level, but are buried deep with the man himself. An amazing film from one of the great directors of Japanese cinema.
½ March 22, 2012
This film is visually very interesting as with all Teshigahara films. The cinematography is absolutely fantastic, with interesting angels and hypnotic images. The film is basically about a disfigured man, who along with a doctor makes a mold of a man's face and uses this to attempt to rebuild his life. The film is very eerie at times, with ambient music and haunting imagery. This film brings up themes of depersonalization and identity. It reminds me of issues I recently brought up in my philosophy class. No matter how much a person changes, physically, mentally, etc, there is still a part of the person that is innately them, something that never changes. I believe this is shown with the way the main character keeps two apartments. One for his masked persona, and one for his bandaged face. He is scared of losing his identity so he keeps his old one, along with his new one. He is recognized in both identities by some characters, which I believe makes a point that no one can fully change. Points are brought up, that if we fail to establish an identity of our own, morals are pointless. With no identity there is no need for morals, as nobody can truly affect us because they don't know us. With no identity there is no need for friendships or unhappiness as something that effectively doesn't exist can have no feelings. People are generally recognized for their faces and the loss of ones face, can cause an identity crisis. Those who don't know who they are have trouble establishing a life for them selves. Anyway my point is our own identity not only defines who we are to ourselves, it defines who we are to others and defines who we are to our environment. With this film, Teshigahara has established himself to me as a great director. In my eyes, if he continued working with Kobe Abe and keep on directing films, he could have been one of the greatest ever. I highly recommend all three of the films contained in the criterion collection they are complex and interesting, philosophically and visually. The film itself is a marvel of visual and thematic content and I look forward to future viewings.
March 19, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012

(1966) The Face OF Another
(In Japanese with English subtitles)

Another intruiging premise from Hiroshi Teshigahara who solidified his name for directing the 1965 film "Woman In The Dunes" aka "Woman of the Sands", this time from the Kb Abe novel which centers on a persons point of view upon his burned out face while in the line of duty! He gets a brand new face from a special kind of doctor and goes on a new odyssey by testing people who should know him. The film explores about peoples faces in general without mentioning DNA as a possible identity instead of "remembering" other peoples faces or the purpose of having "faces"! At the same another disfigured young girl is suffering from the same problem except she doesn't get the same treatment as the central character does. Can this 'idea' be thought up as a result of the H-Bomb on Hiroshima, the movie doesn't seem to say so but they're some corralations! It's a great thinking picture since most of it's diaglogue is philosphical until the unappropriated end which doesn't seem to explain anything!

3 out of 4
March 19, 2012
Highly rated for reasons I cannot fathom, The Face of Another is a bit like The Invisible Man with some surprising similarities to the Jim Carrey film The Mask thrown in, although this is far less fun than either of them. The special make-up effects in this are quite amazing for the 1960s, the slightly arthouse cinematography is pretty good and the subtitles are almost impeccable for much of the film. I liked the doctor's lab too, which was strange and retro-futuristic. All said and done though, there wasn't enough story or emotion in it, the sub-plot (and many other parts) just didn't make sense and despite never really being boring, I found myself struggling to see it all through. 6/10
January 10, 2012
Beautifully shot and neatly existential and bizarre.
June 9, 2011
A rather odd combination of stunning visuals and disturbing themes. The film is quite heavy in it's conversations about personal identity and how much of it is affected by our outward appearance but also by how we 'see' ourselves. The film suffers a bit from a subplot that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the film and character motivations are vague at first because again the conversations can get pretty heavy handed however once I was able to connect with the film I was drawn into it's creepy world. When our main character gets a new face; he feels invincible and his dark nature starts taking over his life. He thinks he can just completely assume a new identity. He doesn't realize that the people that love him and understand him will know who he is no matter what his face looks like. That leads to his downfall. The other character that is the main focus in this film is the doctor. Like in most sci-fi films of this nature he seems slightly unbalanced like his patient but his cool demeaner remains. His personal story is not explored but I felt like he did this surgery for a personal gain rather than to the benefit of his patient. He mentions how his patient's motivations are purely sinister but he continues with the operation anyway. Overall; THE FACE OF ANOTHER is effective in getting under your skin because of the competent direction; great acting and disturbing nature of its themes.
½ April 10, 2011
A very interesting and thought provoking film. It delves into the identity of self and how we allow our outward appearances to define us. The acting and script were superb and I adored the freeze frame at the end. I'll be thinking about this one for a while.
March 1, 2011
"Sadly, this is not only a finger. It's an inferiority complex in the shape of a finger." Happily, this is not only a sci-fi psychological movie. It's a magnificent complex cinematographic analysis on identity, freedom, persona, intimacy, conflict, in a shape of a movie.
½ February 8, 2011
I watched this some years ago and remembered liking it but now it does seem a bit heavy with 60s style affectation. Still, the allegory of "the mask" links well with the way people adopt different roles in different situations (and with different people). And the cinematography/direction does have a cool allure. A disfigured man receives a facial mask that allows him to move within society again, as somebody else. Echoes of Eyes Without A Face and foreshadowing Face/Off.
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