The Written Face | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Written Face 

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This feature-length documentary (1995, 89 min.) by Swiss filmmaker Daniel Schmid pays tribute to Kabuki performer and female impersonator Tamasaburo Bando, including a great deal of performance footage. It bears the visible influence of Roland Barthes' wonderful and utopian short book about Japan, The Empire of Signs, and benefits greatly from this happy input. Like Tosca's Kiss, this film suggests that the documentary may actually be the most suitable form for Schmid. A 35-millimeter print will be shown. Gene Siskel Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Thursday, November 16, 6:00, 312-443-3737.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

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