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Transposition of the Scientific Elements in Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Adaptation of Kobo Abe’s the Face of Another

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This article focuses on Hiroshi Teshigahara’s film adaptation of the famous Kobo Abe’s The Face of Another with special attention on the transposition of the scientific elements of the novel in the film. This article observes how Teshigahara, through cinematic techniques, transposes Abe’s scientific language into visual forms. Abe himself involved in the film adaptation by writing the screenplay, in which he prioritized the literary aspects over the filmic aspect. This makes the adaptation become more interesting because Teshigahara is known as a stylish filmmaker. Another noteworthy aspect is the internal dialogues domination within the novel narration. It is written in an epistolary-like narration, placing the protagonist as a single narrator which consequently raises subjectivity. The way Teshigahara externalizes the stream-of-consciousness narration-like into the medium of film is another significant topic of this essay.
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DOI: 10.9744/kata.19.2.63-70
63
ISSN 1411-2639 (Print), ISSN 2302-6294 (Online)
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Transposition of the Scientific Elements in Hiroshi
Teshigahara’s Adaptation of Kobo Abe’s the Face of Another
Anton Sutandio
Maranatha Christian University, INDONESIA
e-mails: anton.sutandio@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
This article focuses on Hiroshi Teshigahara‟s film adaptation of the famous Kobo Abe‟s The Face of Another with special
attention on the transposition of the scientific elements of the novel in the film. This article observes how Teshigahara,
through cinematic techniques, transposes Abe‟s scientific language into visual forms. Abe himself involved in the film
adaptation by writing the screenplay, in which he prioritized the literary aspects over the filmic aspect. This makes the
adaptation become more interesting because Teshigahara is known as a stylish filmmaker. Another noteworthy aspect is the
internal dialogues domination within the novel narration. It is written in an epistolary-like narration, placing the protagonist as
a single narrator which consequently raises subjectivity. The way Teshigahara externalizes the stream-of-consciousness
narration-like into the medium of film is another significant topic of this essay.
Keywords: Transposition, scientific element, adaptation, The Face of Another.
INTRODUCTION
This research aims to investigate the way Hiroshi
Teshigahara transposes the novel of Kobo Abe, The
Face of Another, into a film with special attention on
the transposition of the scientific elements of the
novel. Being prominent figures in their respective
fields, both Teshigahara and Abe has to negotiate to
make sure the film adaptation of the novel is
acceptable and maintains the signature of both the
filmmaker and the novelist. The scope of this research
is limited to film adaptation, which is the transfer of a
written work to film. There are three ways in which a
filmmaker can adapt a literary work, one of which is
transposition. Transposition, according to Wagner as
quoted in Vugt (2011), is a process, “...in which the
screen version sticks closely to the literary sources,
with a minimum interference (p. 2). In general, Alqadi
(2015) argues that the role of adaptation is make
“...critics eager to continually discuss the degree to
which a film is faithful to the literary work” (p. 42).
To reveal the transposition process of the novel, the
structure of the research focuses on the intrinsic
analysis of the film through its cinematography and
mise-en-scene while it is juxtaposed and compared
with the novel. The findings are hoped to enrich film
studies analysis in general and film adaptation in
particular, especially the transposition process.
The Face of Another is a famous novel by Kobo Abe,
written in 1964, which deals with the theme of
alienation and isolation. It tells a story about a man
named Okuyama, a scientist, whose face is deformed
due to a freak laboratory incident. He experiences
stress and trauma and decides to consult a doctor
named K and discuss the possibility of creating a
mask, or a face for him. The mask that provides him a
face of another psychologically results in him having
an alter ego. With his alter ego, he tries to regain his
intimacy with his wife and at the same time testing his
wife‟s loyalty as he approaches his own wife as
someone else. When his wife falls for “another
man,” he angrily confronts his wife and reveals his
disguise. To his surprise, his wife has known all along
that the man is her husband. Feeling insulted by her
husband‟s way of testing her fidelity, she leaves him
and in the end the narrator immerses himself into the
personality of his mask. The novel is written in an
epistolary-like narration which puts the narrator as the
single source for all information that the readers
receive. Consequently, the readers are left with the
subjective voice of the narrator.
The film adaptation of the novel is directed by Hiroshi
Teshigahara, who is not only known as a filmmaker,
but also as a designer, flower artist, and calligrapher
(Grilli, 2007, par. 1). His adaptation of Abe‟s The
Face of Another was not his first collaboration with
Abe, they have been working together in three other
adaptation projects, which include Pitfall (1962),
Woman in the Dunes (1964), and The Man without a
Map (1968). They, according to De Vaulx (2012),
Anton S.
64
“…generally tend to be categorised as part of the
Japanese New Wave, but are also idiosyncratic
enough to stand out from that group” (para. 1).
Kōbō Abe‟s The Face of Another and its film
adaptation by Hiroshi Teshigahara have been
investigated from many viewpoints, particularly from
psychological and philosophical ones. However, the
fact that the novel is “psychological science fiction” is
somehow considered insignificant. Science fiction,
according to Lombardo (2015) is defined as, “... a
literary and narrative approach to the future, involving
plots, action sequences, specific settings, dramatic
solutions, and varied and unique characters, human
and otherwise. Generally inspired and informed by
modern science and contemporary thought, it is
imaginative and often highly detailed scenario-
building and thought experiments about the future, set
in the form of stories” (p. 7).
Abe is first and foremost a science fiction writer,
besides also known as a “playwright, director, and
theater innovator” (Grilli, 2007. para. 1). His status as
a science fiction writer was highly recognized by a
famous Japanese publishing company with his book
publication in 1971 (Matthew, 1989, p. 182). Bolton
(2009) argues that Abe‟s works “…incorporates
material from disciplines such as biochemistry,
geology, mathematics, and computer programming,
to name just a few, and science becomes a source for
his language…” (p. 29). This corresponds to
Matthew‟s (1989) categorization of psychological
science fiction in Japanese literature as one variety of
“Soft Science Fiction,” the work of which is based on
“… such organized approaches to knowledge as
sociology, psychology, anthropology, political
science, historiography, theology, linguistics, and
some approaches to myth” (p. 3). In the context of
psychology, Cahill (2009) argues that Abe often
creates, “...frustrated protagonists who search for
identity and freedom in a never-ending struggle
between the ideas of „the individual‟ and „the
collective‟” (p. 2.).
This essay focuses on the scientific elements of the
film adaptation, in particular observing how
Teshigahara, through cinematic techniques, trans-
poses Abe‟s scientific language into visual forms.
Transposition itself is defined as, “...an attempt to
produce the original as the author might have done if
he or she appeared in the given socio-historical time
and place of the transposition and retained the
consciousness that created each sentence of the
original.”(Whittlesey, 2012, para. 6). It is fortunate for
Teshigahara as he is contemporaneous with Abe, the
author himself, although this condition offers another
challenge when two powerful authorities, the director
and the author, have to work on the same page to
adapt the novel. Unlike translation, transposition can
occur from one media to another, for example from
literature to film. According to McGibbon (2014),
the success of adaptation depends on, “...how its
adaptor has altered and transformed its source
material in order to work effectively in its new
medium...on how thoroughly the adaptation embraces
the fundamentals of its new medium, while staying
true to the heart of the story” (p. 8). Narrative is
definitely the keywords both in a novel and a film,
and the problem lies in the different sign systems that
both novel and film operate on. The procedure of
creating a good adaptation is to find a common
ground for the novel and film in delivering similar
message through different semiotic system. One of
the ways in dealing with this gap is when Abe is
appointed to write the screenplay for his adapted
novel in which he prioritizes the literary aspects over
the filmic aspect (Desser, 1988, p. 77). I argue that
this step is necessary considering that Teshigahara is
known as a stylish filmmaker with a “…natural
tendency towards aesthetic over-expression” (De
Vaulx, 2012, par. 12). Another noteworthy aspect is
the internal dialogues domination within the novel
narration. It is written in an epistolary-like
narration, placing the protagonist as a single
narrator which consequently raises subjectivity.
The way Teshigahara externalizes the stream-of-
consciousness narration-like into the medium of
film is another significant topic of this essay.
When talking about science in literature, the question
of the distinctions between them will arise. Among
those distinctions is the instinctive general notion that
science deals with truth and literature with fantasy or
fiction. Bolton (2009) further argues that through his
novel Abe forces the reader to question the distinc-
tions further by blurring the boundary between
science and literature (p. 5). Abe broadens and
problematizes the idea of literary language when he
incorporates scientific terms in his work. In a way,
Abe‟s statement offers a broader freedom to interpret
his work. However, this essay does not attempt to
clarify the distinction nor take a certain standpoint on
it but rather to point out Abe‟s standpoint that might
affect the film adaptation. The Face of Another
exemplifies the science-literature intertwining. His
work bridges science and literature, juxtaposing them
to expose the unexpected powers and limitations of
bothlimitations that all too often become invisible
to those within a given discourse, and powers that
often go unnoticed by those outside it (Bolton, 2009,
p. 17). The citation clearly states Abe‟s position and
viewpoint in dealing with science and literature; he
Transposition of the Scientific Elements in Hiroshi Teshigahara‟s
65
stands between them and sees things from both
viewpoints. Another interesting aspect is figuring out
Teshigahara‟s way in dealing with them in the
adaptation. The fact that film medium is a scientific
product might suggest science superiority over the
literary aspects, which add more complication on the
issue.
ANALYSIS
The Face of Another is organized around science: The
protagonist is a scientist. He loses face due to a
scientific accident, then attempts to regain/release his
“old” identity through science; his scientific argu-
ments are apparent throughout his anguish.
Teshigahara‟s adaptation is considered one of his best
films. From adaptation theory, the film is seen as a
formal entity of product, an extensive transposition of
a particular work which suggests that through certain
cinematic techniques the film claims its own entity,
different yet closely related to the original source
(Hutcheon, 2006, p. 7). Basically, “...any adaptation is
different from the original text and is autonomous
while there are some similarities and echoes from the
original one” (Anushiravani & Alinezhadi, 2016, p.
74). Thus, it is interesting to compare and contrast the
adaptation and the original source through the
cinematic techniques that Teshigahara uses and to see
how far Abe influences the adaptation.
One important aspect of science in the novel is the
technology that creates the mask. In their essay,
Botting and Wilson (2002) argue that technology has
been providing humans with the inhuman element
which lies at the extreme core of identity: The engine
of desire (p. 79). The mask, representing a human
face while at the same time concealing it, is inhuman
due to its nature of merely attaching to human body
without becoming part of it. It is alien and false.
Teshigahara interprets this idea of alienation and
concealment through one particular scene (see figure
1) when the scientist stands in front of a transparent
glass panel with some drawing on it, cleverly
suggesting the interplay of alienation/concealment.
Figure 1. The man behind a transparent glass panel in the
laboratory.
The Face of Another in a way reflects their argument
through the mask that becomes a means of desire
fulfillment of the protagonist. The protagonist‟s
disbelief in the importance of a face to a man‟s
existence gradually diminishes especially after he
meets Dr K. who argues that Man‟s soul is in his
skin” (Abe, 1966, p. 26). Thus the man determines to
create a mask with a hope that it can give him back
“an identity”; not his own but a new one, as he
believes that making a mask of his own face means
negating the meaning of the mask itself. The trace of
technology in the detailed construction of the mask is
apparent throughout the novel, and it is interesting to
see how Teshigahara makes the technological narra-
tion visual.
The text of the novel is divided into three major parts
in the form of three notebooks, bracketed by a
prefatory letter and postscript. The first notebook, the
black book, is characterized mostly by the technical
language. This is the part where the construction of
the mask is described, covering a period of nine
months. In detail, Abe narrates the stages of the
mask‟s construction, although the readers might not
pay much attention to it because it is probably too
technical. The scientific part of the narration is
significant because it represents the early part of the
protagonist‟s technology-driven transformation. The
white notebook completes the mask and brings the
account up to the day before the seduction, three
months in all. The grey notebook is the shortest in
duration, only three days. It provides details on the
night of the seduction and the twenty-four hours on
either side. Teshigahara‟s adaptation consists of
nineteen chapters that are chronologically structured.
Differing from the novel, Teshigahara does not use
any notebooks as the point of narration. Instead, he
uses two characters who narrate alternately with the
man without a face. The technical/scientific scenes are
spread throughout the chapters, with at least seven
chapters covering the laboratory as the prominent
scientific setting.
The black notebook is the man‟s life stage when he
believes that creating and wearing a mask will give
him back his identity and eventually his pathway to
relations to others. To some extent, Teshigahara tries
to maintain Abe‟s application of the scientific
elements. The film is marked by their continuous
presence: The laboratory and the mask. However,
there are some significance changes in characteri-
zation: The role of the protagonist as a scientist/a
polymer chemist is replaced by adding another
character, a plastic surgeon/psychiatrist who creates
the mask, the man‟s direct confrontation with the
wife, and the surrealistic description of the laboratory.
The appearance of two new narrators in the film
suggests more objectivity.
Anton S.
66
The film opens with a scientific visualization of fake
human body parts inside a clinic with the doctor‟s
narration on humans inferiority complex following
the loss of body parts (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Artificial body parts
These scenes indicate the strong significance of
science in the film, that the film foregrounds its
narration on the scientific aspect and its conse-
quences. The man without a face ironically depends
on science to provide an answer to the question of
identity; the same science that damaged his face and
took away his identity. The black notebook chapter
shows the ambiguous interaction between the narrator
and technology by alternating scientific passages with
less rational, more confused passages. Teshigahara
visualizes this ambiguous interaction through the
division of film chapters. Alternate scenes in the
laboratory and the scenes before the mask is
constructed show the ambiguity. The man‟s
determination to solve the problem through science is
apparent in the laboratory scenes, while his less
rational, confused dialogues that show his doubt is
obvious in the scenes outside the laboratory,
particularly at his home when he often time conducts
sarcastic, irrational dialogues with his wife. He also
feels uncomfortable and doubtful when he wears the
mask for the first time (in the maiden voyage chapter
of the film).
The opening scene is followed by the man‟s narration
through an x-ray. Teshigahara‟s choice to visualize
the narrator behind an x-ray also suggests the
important role of science. The audience is watching a
live x-ray movie as he talks to the examining doctor
off screen (see figure 3).
This initial image seems reflect the novel‟s and the
readers desire to get inside the protagonist‟s head.
These initial shots are different from the novel which
begins with the story of the man‟s leaving the city for
the hideaway, then continues with the events which
happened at his office until, at one point, he decides to
construct a mask. The narrator‟s meticulous technical
description of the mask‟s construction in the novel is
visualized by the sophisticated yet intimidating
laboratory and the activities within it. Both the novel
narration and the film visualization of the mask
construction reflect the narrator‟s hope to reduce the
problem of his identity crisis to technical terms so he
can solve it with technical means.
Figure 3. An x-ray scene of the man
The novel does not provide any detailed description
of the place where the mask is constructed, but the
laboratory in the film is very significant, as if
replacing the scientific narration that is tricky to
externalize visually. The laboratory is described as
barren, with blank white walls that creates a sense of
borderless, as if one were standing in a limitless space
(see figure 4).
Figure 4. The disorienting laboratory and its activities
McDonald (2000) argues that the blank white walls
speak of an empty, impersonal world (p. 278). If her
interpretation is extended, the laboratory suggests
what a scientific laboratory is usually like: White
color that suggests neutrality, cleanliness, sterility; and
impersonality that suggests non-emotional invol-
vement in scientific conducts. The way the props in
the laboratory are arranged suggests a maze-like
space, where transparent racks filled with transparent
models of body parts, transparent blinds with
drawings of human bodies and faces encapsulate the
laboratory. The surrealistic place brings the aura of
sophisticated scientific space and, at the same time,
creates distance and disorientation to the man without
a face and the audience.
Transposition of the Scientific Elements in Hiroshi Teshigahara‟s
67
Further, Mellen (1975) states that the novel is replete
with surrealist images that intrigue Teshigahara
independently of their service to the imagery or theme
of the film. She further states that the film is finally
more grotesque than emotionally compelling (p. 167).
The scene in the plastic surgeon‟s office are
appropriate in the interpretation of the novel scientific
narration; they are “…a perfect equivalent for the
bizarre and unnerving quality of the surgeon‟s task,
providing people not merely with new faces, but with
new identities as well(Mellen, 1975, p. 167). The
barren laboratory somehow reflects the man‟s barren
life, especially his sexual life. He is deprived of love,
affection and identity. The use of transparent props
might suggest the nature of science that always
questions and attempts to reveal everything until they
are logically clear. To the man without a face,
transparency might reflect his condition after the
incident. He becomes distinct and obvious to others,
yet without identity. Teshigahara skillfully creates a
surrealistic yet suitable visualization to interpret the
scientific narration of the novel.
The next chapter takes place several weeks after the
preceding one, and takes us through the final steps of
the mask construction and the first few times the man
tries it on. The white notebook contains few technical
passages; the language of the second chapter is more
imaginative, referring to the dialogue inside the man‟s
mind. However, this does not mean science‟s role is
not important, in fact, science seems to start taking
over the man. The imaginative language of the second
chapter is gradually associated with the voice of the
man wearing the mask as it tries to take over the man
without a face. The mask is the product of science.
Thus, it can be said that science, through the mask,
begins taking over the man. Teshigahara shows this
gradual taking over in the last eight chapters of the
film. The inner conflict of the man is clearly
externalized through distinctive shots of the man
without a face and the man in the mask. (see figure 5
and 6).
Figure 5. The first appearance of the man
The first appearance of the man on the film as seen in
figure 5 is from his back, and the audience can see
that his head is fully bandaged. At this point, the man
is still anxious about whether he has to wear a mask
or not. The anxiety that he experiences is interpreted
through the shot of the man from the back.
Gradually, however, he becomes determined to have
a mask and even plans to lead a double life with a
single purpose to trigger jealousy of his wife and
others in general.
Figure 6. The first appearance of the man with his „mask‟
In contrast to the man‟s first appearance that is shot
from the back, Teshigahara chooses to take a frontal
close-up shot of the man shortly after the doctor gives
him a face. The scene occurs in the laboratory, and the
audience can see that the frontal shot angle is taken
slightly from below the character‟s face that creates a
sense of confidence from the man. Thus, the
contrasting front vs back shot of the same character
foreshadows the domination of the mask (the science)
in the man‟s life. The domination is later proven
through the fact that there are more shots of the man
in the mask in the last chapters compared to the earlier
chapters of the film. It strongly hints at the science
domination and the man‟s helpless submission to the
new face he has.
I argue that Teshigahara‟s choice to introduce the two
different states of the man in contrasting shots is to
generate the idea of the uncanny, which Freud defines
as something that is frightening because it is both not
known and familiar. Both the man wearing the
bandage and the mask is uncanny, suggesting
something that is familiar (a human being), yet
unfamiliar at the same time (the bandaged head and
the masked man). Abe‟s idea to explore a complex
issue between science and identity along with his
tendency to,…stretch the boundaries of logic by
introducing absurd scenarios that increasingly turn
hysterically nonsensical” (Posadas, 2004, p. 3) are
fittingly transposed by Teshigahara through uncanny
visualization of the man.
Anton S.
68
One important scientific aspect that belongs
particularly to the film is the doctor. The film splits
the narrator of the novel into two separate characters,
the doctor and the man himself. Sakaki (2005) argues
that one‟s identity cannot be established on one‟s
own; it has to be negotiated with others (p. 378). By
Sakaki‟s argument, the doctor thus acts as that “other
who watches the man. The doctor‟s function can be
explained through Freud‟s psychoanalytic theory.
The doctor might be associated with both the man‟s
super ego and the id that controls his ego while at the
same time it releases the man‟s hidden desire. The
doctor at one time can act as the man‟s consciousness,
particularly when he advises him to realize the
consequences of his decision; but at another time the
doctor acts as the man‟s unconsciousness when he
advises the man to satisfy his own curiosity about the
effect of the mask. With this additional character
Teshigahara complicates the scientific narration and at
the same time simplifes the externalization of the
inner monologues. The internal monologues become
face-to-face dialogues between the man and the
doctor. When the man kills the doctor, he kills
not only his “super ego” and “id”, but also his
ego (identity).
The grey notebook marks the climax of the mask‟s
violent imagination. The chapter opens with the
narrator putting on the mask at his secret apartment
and then traveling to his own neighborhood to wander
the street outside his house and fantasize about
assaulting his wife. The grey notebook is filled with \e
language of science is generally associated with the
language of reason. Thus, science is apparently
prominent through the reasoning narration which is
mostly shown in the supplementary notes when he
spends more time second-guessing and amplifying his
own words. Teshigahara visualizes the language of
reason through the scenes in the Waltz, Alibi and
Seduction chapters, when the man in the mask
already feels comfortable with himself and starts
thinking about the seduction. At this point, the man in
the mask seems already dominate the man without a
face, or in other words science is taking over and
controlling humanity (especially the desire).
The wife‟s letter in the novel is parallel with the
Masquarade chapter in the film. This is the point at
which the scientific optimism seems to crumble after
the man realizes that the mask fails to perform the
disguise he expects it to. Teshigahara transforms the
wife‟s letter into a face-to-face confrontation that
results in a highly dramatic turning point of the man‟s
life. The dangling mask during the man‟s dialogues
with his wife in his apartment suggests the beginning
of a detachment between the man and the mask (see
figure 7).
Figure 7. The man‟s mask is dangling on his face
The fact that the mask is still dangling and not fully
detached from the man‟s face suggests the strong
influence of the mask on the man. The scene is not
only a dialogue, but it is trialogue between the man
without a face, the man in the mask, and his wife.
The juxtaposition between science and literature is
obvious in the scene. This is also the climax of the
film, the turning point of the man‟s life. The man
starts to realize the failure of the mask (science) and it
really makes him furious.
Both the novel and the film have open endings. The
novel ends with his comments on his wife‟s letter and
his wondering what he will do next. After a few pages
he breaks off his narrative, and the novel ends. The
film ends differently; Teshigahara adds the Freedom
chapter that does not exist in the novel. This last
chapter can be seen as the man‟s vengeance towards
science, where science is represented by the plastic
surgeon. The plastic surgeon has taken away the
man‟s past by creating the mask and promising a
future with the new identity. But when his wife
recognizes him it brings down his belief in the future
with the mask. By murdering the plastic surgeon, he
takes revenge on science. Science that has erased his
past now takes away his future. The title of the last
chaper “Freedom” is not a freedom that he expects,
but a freedom from identity as he is still struggling to
find one for his new self. From a scientific point of
view, the man in the mask may suffer from identity
dissonance that is defined as, “...the disconcerting
internal experience of conflict between irreconcilable
aspects of self” (Joseph, et.al., 2017, p. 100) which
includes emotional disruption that may lead to
violence. In the end, Teshigahara, like Abe, leaves the
interpretation on what will become of the man to the
audience. Teshigahara ends the film by a close up
shot of the man in the mask, whose look is empty,
while touching the skin of his face in uncertainty (see
figure 8) whether his new face will give him freedom,
or ironically, another state of imprisonment. The
visualization is undeniably also rooted in the fact that
Abe is influenced by the Western existential theme, in
which the characters “... struggle to assert their
subjective self and exercise their will and freedom,
Transposition of the Scientific Elements in Hiroshi Teshigahara‟s
69
while experiencing deep anxiety, absurdity and
nothingness in life” (Jafari & Pourjafari, 2013, pp. 1-
2). The close-up shot of the man in the mask below
clearly shows anxiety and uncertainty, fittingly
reflects Abe‟s idea of identity which is, “... changing
and unstable, and the feeling of not belonging to a
place is something individuals should actively seek”
(Habjan, 2016, p. 73).
Figure 8. The man in the mask looks into his bleak future
CONCLUSION
Abe‟s The Face of Another obviously shows abun-
dant scientific elements, and he skillfully blends them
with literature. The three notebooks representing three
chapters are structured in a way that they reflect the
interplay between science and literature. The novel is
dominated with internal monologues of the narrator
that create a challenge to the film adaptation.
Teshigahara relies heavily on a rich array of film
techniques to transpose the essentially scientific
narration of the novel. The film medium as a scientific
product also offers more tools for Teshigahara to
interpret the scientific narration through scientifically
based cinematic techniques. The mise-en-scene is
particularly helpful in the transposition of the
scientific elements of the novel, most obviously
through the props and setting, particularly the
laboratory and the mask. One might say that they are
the essence of Teshigahara‟s adaptation in externa-
lizing the scientific narration. In this context, the mask
is the victory of technology and the loss of humanity.
His using multiple narrators also helps bringing a
more objective narration as well as highly dramatic
tensions to the film. The most obvious difference
between the original source and the adaptation is the
added last scene that strengthens the impact of science
upon the narrator. Despite the stylistic differences
between Abe‟s and Teshigahara‟s narrations, the
adaptation succeeds in strengthening both the
question of identity, and the theme of alienation and
isolation, through the exploration of science that the
novel provokes. In another word, both Teshigahara
and Abe‟s contribution to the adaptation is not limited
to their role as a director and a screenplay writer, but
they both influence one another in the process,
making the adaptation as intriguing, if not more, as
the novel. For instance, the closing shot of a faceless
crowd near the end of the film (see figure 9)
captivates a resonance to the final narrative of Abe‟s
novel: “What is amply clear, at least, is that I shall be
lonely and isolated, that I shall only become a
lecher…Of course, I do know that the responsibility is
not the mask‟s alone, and that problem lies rather
within me. Yet it is not only in me, but in everybody;
I am not alone in this problem” (Abe, 1966, p. 238).
Figure 9. The man (on the left) and the doctor (on the right)
among the „facelesscrowd
REFERENCES
Abe, K. (1966). The face of another. E. Dale Saun-
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Full-text available
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