HOME MOVIES OPERAS BIOGRAPHY CONTACT
 
Beresina
The Written Face
Off Season
The Amateurs
Jenatsch
Tosca’s Kiss
Imitation Of Life
Hécate
Notres-Dames De La Croisette
Violanta
Shadows Of Angels
La Paloma
Tonight Or Never
Do Everything In The Dark
 

THE WRITTEN FACE, 1995

Schmid's impassionate tribute to Kabuki theatre and their great stars.

 
Production: Marcel Hoehn and Kenzo Horikoshi, EURO SPACE Tokyo, T&C Film Zurich
Director: Daniel Schmid
Screenplay: Daniel Schmid
Photography: Renato Berta
Sound: Dieter Meyer
Music: Liszt, Puccini
Cast: Tamasaburo Bando, Kazuo Ohno, HanTakehara, Harnko Sugirnura, Kai Shishido,Toshiya Nagasawa, AsajiTsutakiyokomatsu
 
 
Described as either a "documentary fiction" or a "fictitious documentary," this unique film starts from the assumption that it is impossible for an outsider to truly enter Japan (a country which especially fascinates Schmid and where his films are especially popular). Schmid instead approaches Japan-through its masks, an"echo-chamber of signs" that is inherently distanced and constantly shifting. The film's central subject is the renowned Kabuki performer Tamasaburo Bando, one of the last and greatest practitioners of the art of the onnagata - i.e., a man playing women's roles. Distinct from drag performers in the West, the onnagata attempts not to imitate the woman but to suggest her essence. The film alternates extended Kabuki performances with documentary accounts of Bando's influences and of the parallel world of the geisha, achieving a complex perspective that Schmid describes as "within, and yet without."
Martin Rubin, Chicago
 
 
  Watch the trailer