On the one hand, you have a self-diagnosed "nice guy" eternally convinced they're trapped in a purgatorial friend zone, and on the other, a caustically cruel engineer drowning in solipsism, after an accident leaves his face horribly disfigured. Pure mystical happenstance for one, and nifty psychiatric-experimentation for the other: both men stumble headfirst into the all-consuming idea that if they can just change their face, all their problems will dissipate and they will finally be able to get some. THE MASK as we know, is a far cry from its pitch black comic book origins, and yet the dark, brooding edge still comes through stronger than one might think. Hiroshi Teshigahara tackles Kôbô Abe's novel in a more synchronous way than expected - through the endlessly compelling visuals fueled by the Vitruvian man and Langer's lines, the idea that becoming consumed with one's physical appearance will lead them to their own literalization of hell, comes through with shocking severity. The specter of the Nagasaki WWII bombing, the ever-present somnambulistic reality of 1994 America, full of false promises and smoke-n-mirrors policy, swirls these two particularly peculiar explorations of self into a soup of true human madness.