The Face of Another

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Year Released: 1966
Rating: 2.0

After a terrible accident, a man becomes disfigured and his wife rejects him - to make up for this, his therapist crafts a mask for him out of what looks like silly putty. There are some half-decent ideas in this obvious condemnation of body modification (and its apparent psychological liberation) but did it really have to be so goddamn heavy-handed (everyone's a philosopher, especially the bandaged lead, looking like Claude Rains in The Invisible Man)? Further, there's a parallel storyline with a disfigured young woman that is less didactic than the main storyline, but Teshigahara and screenwriter Kôbô Abe pay such little attention to it it's as if it's from another picture altogether (and the tragic denouement comes across as a cheap ploy for emotional resonance).