Masks Are Powerful

There is one cinema gimmick that always works for me and can sometimes lift a movie out of the ordinary and take it somewhere unexpected. And this usually occurs when someone either puts on a mask or appears in one. The simple act of doing this immediately brings something theatrical and visually arresting to the scene that taps into our subconscious on an almost primeval level.     

As Gerald Casale of the band Devo says in one of the featurettes on the Criterion disc of ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, “Masks are one of the most primitive expressions of either trying to frighten other people or trying to create an alternate reality or trying to represent a deity or whatever. Ritualistically, masks have a lot of power.”

Certainly the half-animal, half-human faces of the creatures who populate ISLAND OF LOST SOULS are masks of a kind, the results of a highly skilled make-up artist (Wally Westmore) who transformed actors into a nightmarish new species.

But when it comes to the use of real masks in films, there is always a transformative power involved for both the wearer and the viewer. And I am always intrigued by films in which the wearer develops an alter ego when masked. For anyone who has ever enjoyed the ritual of Halloween, this is undeniably seductive. People react to you in different ways, especially if they can’t guess your identity, and as a result, you feel free to be the sort of person or thing they are responding to. Putting on a mask sets the stage for a performance of sorts.

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde

By no means a comprehensive pictorial history of masks in the movies, this blog is simply a reason to showcase some of my favorite examples of the subject’s rich possibilities.

“Is my costume such a disguise that you don’t recognize me?” – Edgar Allan Poe’s THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964).

Many iconic screen heroes have wore masks from the silent era on with Zorro, Scaramouche, the Lone Ranger, and Batman – in their many incarnations – just a few of the more obvious examples. It’s some of the lesser known or more fringe characters though that hold an even more exotic appeal such as the female crusader of KEIKO MASK (1991) and its sequels; naked except for a cape and a mask, she rescues abused Japanese schoolgirls from a sadistic principal.

Equally outrageous and similar in concept is LEGENDARY PANTY MASK (1991) in which the heroine, wearing a disguise made out of leather underwear, comes to the rescue of schoolgirls being violated by nuns in the western town of Tombstone. Another go-for-broke outrage from Japan.

One of the many shape-shifting appearances of the phantom-like JUDEX in Georges Franju’s 1963 remake of the popular 1916 French serial from director Louis Feuillade.  It was part of a grand tradition that included Feuillade’s earlier serial thriller, FANTOMAS (1913).

IRMA VEP (1996), Oliver Assayas’s homage to the cinema of Feuillade and LES VAMPIRES (1915) in particular.

Another superhero who deserves his own hall of fame is Santo, the Mexican wrestler superhero, who NEVER takes his mask off although his foes often attempt it.

John Phillip Law as a Fantomas-like super criminal in Mario Bava’s DANGER: DIABOLIK (1968).

Besides the super heroes and arch villains of pulp cinema and serials are those aberrant cinema icons whose masks personify evil and give the wearer warped delusions of grandeur and empowerment as in Friday the 13th (Jason), Halloween (Michael Myers aka The Shape), Scream, Manhunter (The Tooth Fairy) and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (Leatherface).

“The first horror film I remember seeing in the theatre was Halloween and from the first scene when the kid puts on the mask and it is his POV, I was hooked.” - David Arquette (if the star of three of the Scream films saw this movie when it was released in 1978, he was only seven.)

Sometimes the human face can even be a mask, hiding the most perverse and shocking thoughts and emotions beneath an innocent façade.

When it came to art, Jean Cocteau was famous for demanding this of the creator, especially himself – “Astonish me.” And most would agree that he met this criteria in his own work.

Cocteau’s THE BLOOD OF A POET (1932): “Often mistaken for a surrealistic work, this is a carefully constructed artifact, mingling symbol and metaphor to project the anguish, apotheosis and corruption of the struggling artist.” – Amos Vogel, Film as a Subversive Art

Maria Casares as Death in Cocteau’s ORPHEUS (1950).

Cocteau’s TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS (1960).

“True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.”― Jean Cocteau

Sex Games and fantasy role playing in exploitation movies often involve the use of masks and Joseph W. Sarno has capitalized on this in imaginative and kinky ways in such films as SIN IN THE SUBURBS (1964) and SWEDISH WILDCATS (1974, aka Every Afternoon).

Regarding SIN IN THE SUBURBS, Sarno said, “The story happened in upstate New York – I’m not going to give you the name of the town. These men and women – all comparatively wealthy people – wore black hoods and cloaks (but were naked underneath) and would have group sex without knowning who their partners were.” (from an interview featured in Incredibly Strange Films (Re/Search #10).

Could it be that Stanley Kubrick was influenced by Joe Sarno for his masked orgy sequence in EYES WIDE SHUT (1999)?

Faces that could never find acceptance in normal society need a disguise….though the solutions may often seem like band-aids to the horrific reality.

“George Franju’s EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959) is for me the most chilling expression in cinema of our ancient preoccupation with the nature of identity. Its core motif is the mask, here an uncanny thing of smooth, hard plastic worn by a young woman to conceal a face destroyed in an auto accident. Her name is Christiane; her father, Dr. Genessier, an eminent Parisian surgeon, is obsessively engaged in an attempt to reconstruct that face. But his cosmetic project is a travesty of the impulse to heal, and Christiane, despite her disfigurement, remains in possession of what her father has lost, if he ever had it – a spiritual faculty, an idea of the good: a soul.” – Patrick McGrath (from the liner notes of the Criterion Collection edition of the film).

“My name was not always Sardonicus, and I did not always wear a mask.” – Guy Rolfe as MR. SARDONICUS (1961).

Herbert Lom as the tragic protagonist of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the 1962 Hammer horror remake of the popular story.

Masks can be protective devices, protecting you from toxins, germs…or your own reflection in the mirror.

“You’re not the only lonely man. Being free always involves being lonely. Just there is a mask you can peel off and another you can not.” – The psychiatrist in THE FACE OF ANOTHER (1966).

Masks can also be implements of torture….

and even imprisonment.

For heist thrillers and murder mysteries, masks are often a necessity to protect both the instigators of a crime and the witnesses.

A disgruntled war veteran executes a daring bank robbery with his gang in Basil Dearden’s THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (1960).

Sometimes a mask has only one meaning: TO FRIGHTEN

Or to make you laugh…..

But never underestimate the power of a mesmerizing disguise in the art of seduction.

Masks can represent ancient gods and deities or play an important part in rituals from our primitive past….

….or even serve as the boxoffice gimmick for the featured movie.

Since this is Academy Award season, let us not forget some of the more famous Oscar nominated movies in which masks play an important part or figure prominently in key scenes.

BLACK ORPHEUS (1959), Best Foreign Language Film.

Audrey Hepburn & George Peppard in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961), nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Actress and Best Art Direction-Set Direction.

Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in AMADEUS (1984), nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Makeup and Best Costume Design.

Jim Carrey in THE MASK (1994), nominated for Best Visual Effects

Laura Dern & Eric Stoltz in MASK (1985), which won the Oscar for Best Makeup. Peter Bogdanovich’s film is based on the true story of Rocky Dennis (1961-1978),  a boy who suffered from an extremely rare bone disorder known as craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. Below is a photo of the real Rocky.

Sources:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/13/rockydennis.jpg/sr=1
0 Response Masks Are Powerful
Posted By Jim Morton : February 5, 2012 2:09 pm

My favorite has to be 1961′s THE MASK, which forced the audience to put on a mask (in the form of 3D glasses) whenever the lead character put on the mosaic skull mask in the film. The glasses had a weird jungle pattern printed on them, which had nothing to do with the film. They were anaglyphic (red and green) and did not have ear loops, but they worked well in this film since you never used them for more than ten minutes at a time.

Posted By Jim Morton : February 5, 2012 2:09 pm

My favorite has to be 1961′s THE MASK, which forced the audience to put on a mask (in the form of 3D glasses) whenever the lead character put on the mosaic skull mask in the film. The glasses had a weird jungle pattern printed on them, which had nothing to do with the film. They were anaglyphic (red and green) and did not have ear loops, but they worked well in this film since you never used them for more than ten minutes at a time.

Posted By insermini : February 5, 2012 3:00 pm

Awesome!

Posted By insermini : February 5, 2012 3:00 pm

Awesome!

Posted By Susan Doll : February 5, 2012 3:44 pm

I have always liked those romantic comedies or mystery thrillers that end in a masked ball in which several characters are wearing the same mask and other characters confuse them. The illusion is that the mask will let you get away with something and then pin it on someone else. And, then unmasking, or sorting out, of who did what to whom is always fun.

Posted By Susan Doll : February 5, 2012 3:44 pm

I have always liked those romantic comedies or mystery thrillers that end in a masked ball in which several characters are wearing the same mask and other characters confuse them. The illusion is that the mask will let you get away with something and then pin it on someone else. And, then unmasking, or sorting out, of who did what to whom is always fun.

Posted By keelsetter : February 5, 2012 4:22 pm

Here’s a recent example from JOHN DIES AT THE END, featuring a room-full of people wearing masks and which was reminiscent of A BOY AND HIS DOG:

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/8/2012/01/0af2a407cd6ab24f32888779c68e26df.jpg

Another “pivotal-end-scene-with-masks” moment can be found in KILL LIST.

The ultimate masks to sum it all up? The Happy & Sad theater masks that are now iconic for all the visual arts.

Posted By keelsetter : February 5, 2012 4:22 pm

Here’s a recent example from JOHN DIES AT THE END, featuring a room-full of people wearing masks and which was reminiscent of A BOY AND HIS DOG:

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/8/2012/01/0af2a407cd6ab24f32888779c68e26df.jpg

Another “pivotal-end-scene-with-masks” moment can be found in KILL LIST.

The ultimate masks to sum it all up? The Happy & Sad theater masks that are now iconic for all the visual arts.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 5, 2012 5:10 pm

That is a great still from JOHN DIES AT THE END. I look forward to seeing that and KILL LIST in the near future.

Suzi, I think there is a good masked ball toward the end of HOW TO STEAL A MILLION and doesn’t the first PINK PANTHER film have one too?

Posted By morlockjeff : February 5, 2012 5:10 pm

That is a great still from JOHN DIES AT THE END. I look forward to seeing that and KILL LIST in the near future.

Suzi, I think there is a good masked ball toward the end of HOW TO STEAL A MILLION and doesn’t the first PINK PANTHER film have one too?

Posted By dukeroberts : February 5, 2012 5:19 pm

I love The List of Adrian Messenger. It is so gimmicky, and some people just can’t be hid under make-up (Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra). Some of the make-up is very obviously make-up and everyone sounds like Paul Frees. Love it.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 5, 2012 5:19 pm

I love The List of Adrian Messenger. It is so gimmicky, and some people just can’t be hid under make-up (Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra). Some of the make-up is very obviously make-up and everyone sounds like Paul Frees. Love it.

Posted By AL : February 5, 2012 6:53 pm

WOW! wonderful! thankew…AL

Posted By AL : February 5, 2012 6:53 pm

WOW! wonderful! thankew…AL

Posted By quicksand : February 6, 2012 7:36 am

I love masks too, but there was one actor who didn’t need a mask to terrify——Lon Chaney Jr…..or was it his dad?!?!
:):):)
http://www.doctormacro.com/Images/Chaney%20Jr.,%20Lon/Annex/Annex%20-%20Chaney%20Jr.,%20Lon_01.jpg

Posted By quicksand : February 6, 2012 7:36 am

I love masks too, but there was one actor who didn’t need a mask to terrify——Lon Chaney Jr…..or was it his dad?!?!
:):):)
http://www.doctormacro.com/Images/Chaney%20Jr.,%20Lon/Annex/Annex%20-%20Chaney%20Jr.,%20Lon_01.jpg

Posted By Greg Ferrara : February 6, 2012 10:07 am

I love the mask in DRIVE. It’s unclear why Gosling chooses to wear it at the end but it’s pretty damn effective nonetheless.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : February 6, 2012 10:07 am

I love the mask in DRIVE. It’s unclear why Gosling chooses to wear it at the end but it’s pretty damn effective nonetheless.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 6, 2012 10:39 am

Yes, that mask Gosling wears as he takes his revenge on Ron Perlman in the surf is good and creepy; the way the scene is lit, it looks like something out of a horror film (Gosling as Jason or The Shape).

Posted By morlockjeff : February 6, 2012 10:39 am

Yes, that mask Gosling wears as he takes his revenge on Ron Perlman in the surf is good and creepy; the way the scene is lit, it looks like something out of a horror film (Gosling as Jason or The Shape).

Posted By John Maddox Roberts : February 6, 2012 2:39 pm

Another great movie gimmick is the unmasking scene, in which the character has worn the mask for the whole movie until it is finally revealed what the mask hid. This can be done well, as in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA or HOUSE OF WAX, or it can be disappointing as in RETURN OF THE JEDI. I mean, we deserved to see something better behind Darth Vader’s mask. Yet it was one of the greatest of all masks.

Posted By John Maddox Roberts : February 6, 2012 2:39 pm

Another great movie gimmick is the unmasking scene, in which the character has worn the mask for the whole movie until it is finally revealed what the mask hid. This can be done well, as in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA or HOUSE OF WAX, or it can be disappointing as in RETURN OF THE JEDI. I mean, we deserved to see something better behind Darth Vader’s mask. Yet it was one of the greatest of all masks.

Posted By DBenson : February 6, 2012 7:59 pm

No mention of Buster Keaton? You always knew there were a lot of emotions behind the deadpan.

Posted By DBenson : February 6, 2012 7:59 pm

No mention of Buster Keaton? You always knew there were a lot of emotions behind the deadpan.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 7, 2012 12:19 am

The masks used by the bankrobbers in The Friends of Eddie Coyle were unsettlingly creepy. They were kind of clear, but had weird mustaches on them. And the clown masks used by the Joker and his gang in The Dark Knight, seemingly an homage to The Killing, were creepy. Probably because they were clown masks. Clowns. Yeesh.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 7, 2012 12:19 am

The masks used by the bankrobbers in The Friends of Eddie Coyle were unsettlingly creepy. They were kind of clear, but had weird mustaches on them. And the clown masks used by the Joker and his gang in The Dark Knight, seemingly an homage to The Killing, were creepy. Probably because they were clown masks. Clowns. Yeesh.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 7, 2012 10:27 am

I need to see THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE again. It’s been so long I don’t even remember the robbery scene. I also neglected to mention another movie with great masks that I recently revisited, Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE – http://requiemforjeanrollin.blogspot.com/2009/11/jean-rollin-screenshots-vampire-nude.html

Posted By morlockjeff : February 7, 2012 10:27 am

I need to see THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE again. It’s been so long I don’t even remember the robbery scene. I also neglected to mention another movie with great masks that I recently revisited, Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE – http://requiemforjeanrollin.blogspot.com/2009/11/jean-rollin-screenshots-vampire-nude.html

Posted By dukeroberts : February 7, 2012 10:42 pm

In a movie called THE NUDE VAMPIRE, the last thing I care about is masks.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 7, 2012 10:42 pm

In a movie called THE NUDE VAMPIRE, the last thing I care about is masks.

Posted By Hecubot : February 8, 2012 1:16 am

Excellent survey!

Franju really had a knack as I think the masks in Judex and Eyes Without a Face are among the most iconic in film. (Carpenter modeled the mask for Michael Meyers in Halloween on the plastic mask in Eyes Without a Face.)

Some other excellent masquerades that come to mind would include the fantastic demonic mask Mel Ferrer wears briefly in Blood and Roses, and the Frog-Mask-of-Death in The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

Probably worth noting that the mask used in Black Sunday was designed and created by Bava’s own father, who was a sculptor among his other talents.

Posted By Hecubot : February 8, 2012 1:16 am

Excellent survey!

Franju really had a knack as I think the masks in Judex and Eyes Without a Face are among the most iconic in film. (Carpenter modeled the mask for Michael Meyers in Halloween on the plastic mask in Eyes Without a Face.)

Some other excellent masquerades that come to mind would include the fantastic demonic mask Mel Ferrer wears briefly in Blood and Roses, and the Frog-Mask-of-Death in The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

Probably worth noting that the mask used in Black Sunday was designed and created by Bava’s own father, who was a sculptor among his other talents.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 8, 2012 1:51 am

Another great mask is Patrick McGoohan’s in The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. What makes it even better is his abrasive, snarling voice coming from behind it.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 8, 2012 1:51 am

Another great mask is Patrick McGoohan’s in The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. What makes it even better is his abrasive, snarling voice coming from behind it.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 8, 2012 1:53 am

Hecubot, I was actually going to mention THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES but couldn’t find an image of my favorite mask – the frog death head device you mentioned. BLOOD AND ROSES deserves a release on Blu-Ray from Criterion or someone equal to their standards. Visually stunning and yes, classic masks.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 8, 2012 1:53 am

Hecubot, I was actually going to mention THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES but couldn’t find an image of my favorite mask – the frog death head device you mentioned. BLOOD AND ROSES deserves a release on Blu-Ray from Criterion or someone equal to their standards. Visually stunning and yes, classic masks.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 8, 2012 2:14 am
Posted By dukeroberts : February 8, 2012 2:14 am
Posted By morlockjeff : February 8, 2012 10:43 am

Duke, I knew I was forgetting a bunch of great movies with prominently featured masks. I like all three versions of DR. SYN, the 1937 one, this Disney one and especially the Hammer horror production NIGHT CREATURES (1962).

Posted By morlockjeff : February 8, 2012 10:43 am

Duke, I knew I was forgetting a bunch of great movies with prominently featured masks. I like all three versions of DR. SYN, the 1937 one, this Disney one and especially the Hammer horror production NIGHT CREATURES (1962).

Posted By dukeroberts : February 8, 2012 11:29 pm

I will have to check out the other two, but I’m sure that Number 6 trumps them.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 8, 2012 11:29 pm

I will have to check out the other two, but I’m sure that Number 6 trumps them.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : February 8, 2012 11:48 pm

I really enjoyed your post. I finally watched Dark Knight over Christmas vacation at my oldest’s urging, and those clown masks in the bank robbery were so creepy! Reinforced my warriness of clowns! I was surprised you didn’t post a shot from The Twilight Zone episode titled “Masks”, where an elderly, rich, southern gentleman is dying, and he calls his 4 children to the patriarchal home, and orders them to put on grotesque looking masks and when they finally take the masks off, their faces are imprinted with the masks’ designs. Also, I’ve been watching the tv show from the early 1960′s, Route 66, and there was an episode not long ago that made me jump, titled “Love is a Skinny Kid”. The episode focused on a young woman who gets off a Greyhound type travel bus, carrying a suitcase, and wearing an oriental mask that is very weird and creepy. She wanders all over town like she knows the place, but refuses to talk or to take off the mask. She is searching for a woman named Lydia, played by Cloris Leachman, about a decision that was made that upset the young woman when she was a little girl. A very strange episode, but interesting too. This episode was in the third season, which starred Martin Milner and George Maharis.

Posted By jennifromrollamo : February 8, 2012 11:48 pm

I really enjoyed your post. I finally watched Dark Knight over Christmas vacation at my oldest’s urging, and those clown masks in the bank robbery were so creepy! Reinforced my warriness of clowns! I was surprised you didn’t post a shot from The Twilight Zone episode titled “Masks”, where an elderly, rich, southern gentleman is dying, and he calls his 4 children to the patriarchal home, and orders them to put on grotesque looking masks and when they finally take the masks off, their faces are imprinted with the masks’ designs. Also, I’ve been watching the tv show from the early 1960′s, Route 66, and there was an episode not long ago that made me jump, titled “Love is a Skinny Kid”. The episode focused on a young woman who gets off a Greyhound type travel bus, carrying a suitcase, and wearing an oriental mask that is very weird and creepy. She wanders all over town like she knows the place, but refuses to talk or to take off the mask. She is searching for a woman named Lydia, played by Cloris Leachman, about a decision that was made that upset the young woman when she was a little girl. A very strange episode, but interesting too. This episode was in the third season, which starred Martin Milner and George Maharis.

Posted By Juana Maria : February 10, 2012 9:30 pm

I see some one beat me when it came to naming “The Twilight Zone” episode “Masks”, a very powerful episode might I add. I loved watching “Zorro” growing up and I saw the 1998 “Mask of Zorro” in the theatre. I also grew up watching a ton of different superheroes. I have also seen “Scaramouche”,”Amadeus”,”Breakfast at Tiffany’s”and would prefer to stay away from the seriously scary and horrible horror movies presented. Though regretfully, I have seen “Bad Seed”(black & white,a re-make too with David Carradine I think?) Creeped me out! I saw the “Man in the Iron Mask” with Leonardo deCaprio back in 1998/9? in the theatre. I thought and still do that it was one of the best petrayals of the Man in the Iron Mask. He is also to be found in “Start the Revolution without Me” or is it “History of the World-part1″, I forget I just know my brother loved watching goofy comedies all his life and my sister goes all gooey for the latest cute actor, so I end up dragged to movies or in front of the TV set to watch these films against my will sort of. I thought this article was gonna be just scary stuff and it wasn’t. It was fun too.

Posted By Juana Maria : February 10, 2012 9:30 pm

I see some one beat me when it came to naming “The Twilight Zone” episode “Masks”, a very powerful episode might I add. I loved watching “Zorro” growing up and I saw the 1998 “Mask of Zorro” in the theatre. I also grew up watching a ton of different superheroes. I have also seen “Scaramouche”,”Amadeus”,”Breakfast at Tiffany’s”and would prefer to stay away from the seriously scary and horrible horror movies presented. Though regretfully, I have seen “Bad Seed”(black & white,a re-make too with David Carradine I think?) Creeped me out! I saw the “Man in the Iron Mask” with Leonardo deCaprio back in 1998/9? in the theatre. I thought and still do that it was one of the best petrayals of the Man in the Iron Mask. He is also to be found in “Start the Revolution without Me” or is it “History of the World-part1″, I forget I just know my brother loved watching goofy comedies all his life and my sister goes all gooey for the latest cute actor, so I end up dragged to movies or in front of the TV set to watch these films against my will sort of. I thought this article was gonna be just scary stuff and it wasn’t. It was fun too.

Posted By Medusa Morlock : February 12, 2012 7:34 pm

I love the fancy mask worn by the titular Queen of Outer Space! The poor thing really has something to hide, too!

Posted By Medusa Morlock : February 12, 2012 7:34 pm

I love the fancy mask worn by the titular Queen of Outer Space! The poor thing really has something to hide, too!

Posted By Juana Maria : February 14, 2012 11:14 pm

I got to thinking about the 1980′s the other day, probably with this Ferris Bueller stuff. Anyway, there’s sorta a resurgence of ’80s stuff lately. Am I the only one noticing this? It got me thinking back in the day of 1980′s how people wore giant eyeglasses and huge sunglasses and some people had tinted windows so dark you coudn’t see them at all. Those are ways of hiding your face too. I thought of films were the sungalsses are part of the story:the Boss played by Morgan Woodward in “Cool Hand Luke”, the sheriff in “O Brother were art thou?”(Johnson says he has hollow eyes)Tom Cruise movies aplenty back in the 8os. Madonna and everybody who was cool wore shades. There is even that song:”I were my sunglasses at night”. Some people call it cheesy, I call it catchy. Discuss!

Posted By Juana Maria : February 14, 2012 11:14 pm

I got to thinking about the 1980′s the other day, probably with this Ferris Bueller stuff. Anyway, there’s sorta a resurgence of ’80s stuff lately. Am I the only one noticing this? It got me thinking back in the day of 1980′s how people wore giant eyeglasses and huge sunglasses and some people had tinted windows so dark you coudn’t see them at all. Those are ways of hiding your face too. I thought of films were the sungalsses are part of the story:the Boss played by Morgan Woodward in “Cool Hand Luke”, the sheriff in “O Brother were art thou?”(Johnson says he has hollow eyes)Tom Cruise movies aplenty back in the 8os. Madonna and everybody who was cool wore shades. There is even that song:”I were my sunglasses at night”. Some people call it cheesy, I call it catchy. Discuss!

Posted By Medusa Morlock : February 15, 2012 4:51 pm

On this subject, I just finished reading the incredible true story of Dallas Wiens, one of the rare humans who has benefitted from a face transplant, in the latest “The New Yorker”. Well worth taking a look at — it’s fascinating, full of medical details, and tells of an ordeal that none of us will ever — or would want to — come close to understanding.

Posted By Medusa Morlock : February 15, 2012 4:51 pm

On this subject, I just finished reading the incredible true story of Dallas Wiens, one of the rare humans who has benefitted from a face transplant, in the latest “The New Yorker”. Well worth taking a look at — it’s fascinating, full of medical details, and tells of an ordeal that none of us will ever — or would want to — come close to understanding.

Posted By JackFavell : February 15, 2012 5:01 pm

Lon Chaney (Sr.) was especially good at creating masks, and letting us see the torment behind them – as in He Who Gets Slapped and The Phantom of the Opera.

Conrad Veidt is heartbreaking in The Man Who Laughs.

I also think of Jean Louis Barrault in Children of Paradise.

Hitchcock has his entire plot revolve on the masked ball in To Catch a Thief.

Posted By JackFavell : February 15, 2012 5:01 pm

Lon Chaney (Sr.) was especially good at creating masks, and letting us see the torment behind them – as in He Who Gets Slapped and The Phantom of the Opera.

Conrad Veidt is heartbreaking in The Man Who Laughs.

I also think of Jean Louis Barrault in Children of Paradise.

Hitchcock has his entire plot revolve on the masked ball in To Catch a Thief.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 15, 2012 5:16 pm

Medusa, I just read that New Yorker article about Dallas Wiens – unbelievable.

Jack, I thought about mentioning The Man Who Laughs except it wasn’t a mask, it was his real face (thanks to amazing makeup). Children of Paradise and To Catch a Thief are great additions to the list.

Posted By morlockjeff : February 15, 2012 5:16 pm

Medusa, I just read that New Yorker article about Dallas Wiens – unbelievable.

Jack, I thought about mentioning The Man Who Laughs except it wasn’t a mask, it was his real face (thanks to amazing makeup). Children of Paradise and To Catch a Thief are great additions to the list.

Posted By JackFavell : February 15, 2012 6:22 pm

Oh yeah! Color me sheepish for forgetting that little fact. And I was so proud of thinking of it.

Posted By JackFavell : February 15, 2012 6:22 pm

Oh yeah! Color me sheepish for forgetting that little fact. And I was so proud of thinking of it.

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