Face (Visage) (2009)

TSAI MING-LIANG

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBFrance/Taiwan/Belgium/The Netherlands2009.  JBA Production, Homegreen Films, Musée du Louvre Paris, Tarantula, Circe Films, Arte France Cinéma, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Government Information Office of the Republic of China, Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, Eurimages, Région Ile-de-France, Arte France, Tax Shelter ING Invest de Tax Shelter Productions, CinéCinéma, Department of Cultural Affairs Taipei City Government.  Screenplay by Tsai Ming-liang.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Ming-liang Tsai, .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 2009Toronto International Film Festival 2009

Tsai Ming-Liang was commissioned by the Louvre Museum to make a film set within its walls, and the artistry of this Taiwanese master has not been in any way diluted by its unusual setting (he has actually made a film in Paris before, What Time Is It There, in which he first collaborated with ). Tsai puts his usual mesmerizing, challenging style towards a tribute to his beloved Francois Truffaut, featuring his usual star  as a filmmaker whose production seems to be beset by stalled energy.   (who is also Truffaut’s widow) is luminous as a producer who is frustrated by technical difficulties and the mysterious personality of the film’s star (Leaud), while  performs musical numbers (lip-synching to Mandarin) that display Tsai’s love of classic musicals. It will be frustrating hell for the more conventional viewer, while those who have loved this incredible filmmaker’s earlier works like The Hole will be thrilled.

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