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Face (Visage)


Introduced by La Frances Hui, film curator at Asia Society

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2009, 138 mins. 35mm. With Lee Kang-sheng, Lu Yi-ching, Fanny Ardant, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Laetitia Casta, Jeanne Moreau, Mathieu Amalric. Tsai’s second film set in France—partially financed by and shot in the Louvre—is perhaps his most unapologetically ravishing, imagistic work to date. Lee plays a director who arrives in Paris to film his version of Salomé myth, who finds himself chasing an elusive vision while struggling to deal with the death of his mother and, yes, plumbing problems. The Christian Lacroix-costumed cast includes New Wave icons Jean-Pierre Léaud (whose relationship to François Truffaut mirrored Lee’s to Tsai), Fanny Ardant, Nathalie Baye, and Jeanne Moreau, choices which reflect Tsai’s deep debt to French cinema, in particular Truffaut, who is a constant reference point here.

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