Face | Chicago Reader

Face

Tsai Ming-Liang (Goodbye, Dragon Inn) pays vague tribute to Francois Truffaut throughout this slow, self-indulgent, but often shockingly beautiful art film. The premise—one can barely call it a story—involves a Taiwanese director (Tsai regular Lee Kang-sheng) invading the Louvre to shoot a movie about the biblical character Salome, assisted by such Truffaut veterans as Fanny Ardant and Jean-Pierre Leaud. This is best appreciated for its strikingly composed and often dynamically colorful long takes: the most impressive, coming early in the film, shows a snow-covered forest decorated with tall vertical mirrors that create a complex, almost magical layering of reflections and comically baffle a stag that wanders into the frame. The movie climaxes with a piercingly erotic Dance of the Seven Veils by Laetitia Casta, an ironic ending given that Tsai already seems to have been granted his every wish. With cameos by Mathieu Amalric, Nathalie Baye, and Jeanne Moreau. In French and Taiwanese with subtitles. 141 min.

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