A tenor, in suit and tie, with a receding hairline, sings a ballad to his love, "Your face is like a song," to simple piano accompaniment. As he sings about his love's face, his own face goes through phantasmagoric changes, beginning with his warbling mouth moving about. As the singing continues, his face twists, turns, explodes, liquefies, becomes block-shaped, multiples, curls, disappears in sections and all at once, and always reconfigures itself serenely into its original shape. As the song ends, the camera pans back revealing the man sitting in a chair on the green field of mother earth. She may have a face and designs of her own. Written by
The odd-sounding voice the man is singing in is actually that of Maureen McElheron. After the song was recorded, the recording was slowed by one-third, giving the desired (and unusual) effect. See more »
As odd as this may sound, I first saw "Your Face" on the Lifetime Channel as I was laying in a hospital room, recovering from major surgery. "Your Face" seemed to fit then and it seems to fit now and always.
Although Plympton had made several cartoons prior to "Your Face," this is the fist time we see the style his work is noted for: impossibly grotesque body deformations done for laughs, and funny, too. We watch and see everything that could possibly happen to the singer's head, including abstract reduction. All through the strange looking singer seems blissfully unaware of what's being done to him as he sings a song that is a perfect parody of the ballad and touching, as well.
As with later films, Plympton does little if anything to signal us if we should laugh, be horrified, or just creeped out. This sense of subtlety is what makes his films so enjoyable to me.
Although only three minutes long, this is a perfectly complete, self-contained masterpiece of animation.
Bill Plympton rules!
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