Face-Script: Pt 1 and 2

Face-Script: Part 1

This work is structured around a brief moment in a documentary film (Let There Be Light, 1946) in which an unnamed man looks back at the camera. The documentary intentionally foregrounds the multi-racial make up of returning soldiers suffering from psychiatric trauma of war at a time prior to desegregation of the army and showing actual patients emotional responses. This close up image of a face is held and repeated in multiple variations of duration and accompanied by an improvised and minimalist guitar soundtrack. A shifting grid pattern registers and defines this face in relation to the screens surface and the audiences gaze. Pressing the audience into a face to face relationship with the unknown subject in the psychiatric hospital, to reflect upon the ethics of seeing and being seen. This emotional encounter is fundamental to the construction of empathy and a sense of responsibility for the subjects.
This is a two part work exploring what lies between a close up image of an unknown man and the instantly recognizable face of the celebrity actor recreating him.

Face-Script: Part 2

This work is structured around the overlaying of close ups of faces and reverse angle conversation shots from two films. The first set of images is an army reconstruction (Shades of Grey, 1947) of (Let There Be Light, 1946) a suppressed army documentary, using actors to perform words and gesture from the original documentary to repurpose it’s meaning with an all white cast. The second set of images is from the contemporary Hollywood feature (The Master, 2012) which recreates scenes and gestures word for word from this documentary and, once again using a predominantly an all white cast, for a fictional historical narrative. The work Face-Script: explores conventions of film making techniques using the face as a structure to dismantle and then reconfigure a new relationship with the private and public self from empathy, personal responsibility, ownership and cinematic image invention of the private individual, into the uses of facial recognition technologies.
The soundtrack in part 2 is an echo of part 1 with the same minimalist guitar recordings linking the shifting relationships across time and film histories.

  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 21 seconds
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project: