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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

They Have Faces: Part One

posted by on May 30 at 9:45 AM

We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!
— Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard


Like all film festivals, SIFF isn’t just about movies, but the faces that populate them. This isn’t to discount the directors, writers, and other crew members who bring films to life, but to acknowledge that gazing at other people is a big part of the movie-going experience.

It isn’t just about basking in the beauty of the conventionally attractive (The Banquet’s Zhang Ziyi, Interview’s Sienna Miller) or reveling in the strangeness of the unconventional (hello, Vincent “Mr. Vargas” Schiavelli!). We’re all attracted to different features for different reasons. Herewith, a few of my favorites from the fest.

While I admire these actors for their abilities—and talent can
make even the most bland or unattractive visage seem more appealing—these are seven faces I find inherently fascinating (including Red Road’s wide-eyed Nathalie Press, above).

Steve Buscemi: Interview, Delirious, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s portion of Paris, Je T’aime. (Here he is as Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs). The 33rd Seattle International Film Festival belongs to Buscemi!

Andy Lau: A Battle of Wits. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek claims
he “has the face of a grave elf.” (He sings and dances, too.)

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Golden Door. The actress/singer
is the daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg.

Aďssa Maďga: Bamako and Paris Je T'aime. From Dakar, this
beautiful Michael Haneke favorite (Caché, Code Unknown)
is of Senegalese, Gambian, and Malian descent. Plus, she spells
her name with not one, but two umlauts—take that Motörhead!

Vincent Schiavelli: Golden Door. No, he wasn't pretty—
they can't all be—but his work (Fast Times at Ridgemont
, Amadeus, etc.) speaks for itself. Golden Door was
the Sicilian-American actor/cookbook author's final film.

Thomas Turgoose: This Is England. Plucked from obscurity,
this unlikely lad nails his first leading role. Personally, I think he
looks like a young Winston Churchill—and I mean that as a compliment! He also has the world's most infectious laugh.


You can appreciate Buscemi's inimitable mug in person as he'll
be in town to support Interview, his English-language remake of
Theo Van Gogh's 2002 drama. Click the links above for screening info
(where there are more to come). Paris Je T'aime opens at the Seven Gables this Friday, while Golden Door opens on 6/22 (venue TBA).

RSS icon Comments


Young Winston Churchill was HOT.

But yes, the resemblance to Actually Young Winston Churchill is striking.

I think Turgoose actually looks more ornery.

Posted by Gloria | May 30, 2007 10:37 AM

Thanks for the links! I couldn't agree more. Didn't someone once say all babies look like Churchill? What I love about Mr. Turgoose is that he looks like a cross between a baby and an old man. And he swears like a sailor.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | May 30, 2007 11:57 AM

He's been in so many, but don't forget Buscemi in "Parting Glances". He played gay WAY before it was fashionable.

Posted by Mark | May 30, 2007 2:20 PM

I think it was, "We didn't need words, we had faces."

Posted by bobbo | May 30, 2007 4:19 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 11:25 AM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 11:26 AM

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