Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Kick-start Disney's Silver Age with a classic - 'Cinderella'! Listen now as Daniel chats with theatremakers Katrina Cornwall & Morgan Rose.x
review, Your Face, Your, Face, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Kang-Sheng Lee, Ming-Liang Tsai, Ming-Liang Tsai, Documentary, Drama film rating

YOUR FACE

★★★

A CONTEMPLATIVE PORTRAIT OF AGEING

TAIWAN FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
31st July 2019

When you meet someone new, what do you notice about them? Their clothes, height, and hair colour are some of the traits that set us apart, but it’s the person’s face that you remember and recognise in the future.

From bug eyes to aquiline noses, square jaws to chin dimples, no two faces are alike. That diversity may have evolved to make it easier to recognise other people, scientific research indicates.

The shape and configuration of a human face are much more variable, compared with other body parts. What's more, genes that have been linked to face structure vary more than DNA in other regions of the body. This suggests that the forces of evolution have selected for facial diversity, perhaps to make individuals more recognisable to other people, the researchers say.

Director Tsai Ming-liang’s (‘Stray Dogs’, ‘ Rebels of the Neon God’) latest film ‘Your Face’ is comprised of fixed camera close-ups of 13 ordinary ageing (middle-aged and older) human faces from the streets of Taipei. Each face is held onscreen for several long minutes and carefully lit, so viewers can explore every deep crevice and pour over every glistening pore. There's a simplicity of the process, from the posing to the static camera position, that helps ground both the audience and the subject in the moment.

'YOUR FACE' TRAILER

Some of Tsai’s subjects nod off. Some seem a little mystified. Others are amused. One guy talks about pachinko. Tsai’s film presents us with facial expressions, whether settled or animated, and existing in time - not the split-second of a photograph, but the face observed in time, the face in duration. Who are these people? Just as the audience starts to fill in the mysterious identities behind the faces using their imagination, Tsai nudges his subjects with questions, revealing a variety of narratives (although it’s around twenty minutes in before anyone really speaks at length).

For the first time in 20-odd years of filmmaking, Tsai has incorporated music into his work. A blend of Eastern and Western ambient tunes, written by Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, ebb in and out of the documentary, making the procession of weathered faces much easier to watch.

‘Your Face’ is an entry into the sub-genre of the arthouse film that some have called "slow cinema" and others refer to as "contemporary contemplative cinema", which has become more prominent in international film festivals.

Each face is held onscreen for several long minutes and carefully lit, so viewers can explore every deep crevice and pour over every glistening pore.

Not every film needs to have a strong and well-plotted narrative, and not all of them need to be paced fast. Such is our attachment to the very widely accepted norm of the three-act narrative arc that we sometimes forget that films are not “filmed theatre” in the first place. Films can also simply be a sensory experience.

The dovetailing of form and content is what’s crucial, and some things need time to be explored and expressed properly. There’s no such thing as calling a slow film bad by default, because ultimately there are bad slow films and there are also good slow films. This is why sometimes patience can bring its very own special rewards, as slow (and sometimes very slow) films prove to those brave (and sometimes stoned) enough to give them a try.

In modern society, apps such as Calm are finding popularity, allowing you to find tranquillity for a few seconds within the day. Evidently, there is a desire for stillness and silence, taking time to find the beauty in the normalcy of life. These desires can be fulfilled in the cinema, as long as audiences are willing to change their narrative expectations and see film in a different way. Beyond its contemplation of human ageing, ‘Your Face’ creates portraits in time.

FAST FACTS
AKA: Ni De Lian
RELEASE DATE: 29/07/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 16m
CAST: Kang-Sheng Lee
Ming-Liang Tsai
WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Ming-Liang Tsai
SCORE: Ryuichi Sakamoto
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Rams - Baaa-ck off
TRENDINGRAMSBaaa-ck off
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Bill: The Complete Series 5 & 6 - Rivalries come to a head in an explosive fashion
TRENDINGWIN THE BILL: THE COMPLETE SERIES 5 & 6Rivalries come to a head in an explosive fashion
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Baby Done - Pregnancy has a hilarious new poster child - thank you, New Zealand
TRENDINGBABY DONEPregnancy has a hilarious new poster child - thank you, New Zealand
Baby Done - Pregnancy has a hilarious new poster child - thank you, New Zealand
TRENDINGBABY DONEPregnancy has a hilarious new poster child - thank you, New Zealand
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Happy Halloween - The best horror films of 2020
TRENDINGHAPPY HALLOWEENThe best horror films of 2020
The Witches - 30 years on, it's still as delightfully frightening as ever
TRENDINGTHE WITCHES30 years on, it's still as delightfully frightening as ever
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Fairly brainless
TRENDINGSCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEFairly brainless
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Fairly brainless
TRENDINGSCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEFairly brainless
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us