Film ID: NEFA 20726 Video of NEFA 20726 Face to Face FACE TO FACE 1980 Visitor TabsDescription A pastel animation by Sheila Graber showing the passage of time from birth to death as seen on an individual face. Starting as a baby the child morphs into a young boy and then a young man. He in turn becomes a soldier and then a working man who ages through middle age and on into old age. The film ends with the death of the man from old age and his skull eventually disappearing. The film begins with the drawing of a circle followed by two dots. With the addition of a nose and a smile the image becomes that of a babies face. The child’s lips turn into a frown as colour and freckles are added and he becomes identifiable as a boy. A smile returns as golden hair appears on his head. The boy closes his eyes as a schoolboys cap appears on his head. He opens his eyes as traces of hair appear on his face which quickly grow into a beard. His eyes are morphed into a pair of dark sunglasses as his cap is replaced by long hair. A cigarette hangs from his mouth. The film changes as the beard is removed and the hair cut shorter to be replaced by a World War One soldier’s helmet. This in turn is morphed into a soldier’s cap. The cap and army uniform are changed into a tall Victorian style gentleman’s hat and suit. His eyes turn to the left as the tall hat is replaced by a bowler hat, the man now wearing a shirt and tie. The hat disappears and is replaced by red hair as the man slowly changes through middle age. Strokes of white appear in his hair and a moustache is drawn upon his lip. More white is added to the hair and deep lines are drawn along his forehead and eyes as his suit becomes pin-striped. From middle to old age a grey moustache is drawn on his lip and more white is added to his hair and eye brows. The moustache is removed and his hair thins. Glasses appear and the shape of the face becomes thinner. More white and deeper lines across the face represent the advancement of time. The face become gaunt as the outline of the skull become clearer and clearer. Slowly his eyes close as the face morphs into an empty lifeless skull. The film ends with the skull fading away to nothing. Context The human time machine Marking time on a face, a swift, bleak portrait of a man from cradle to grave. A performance in pastel, this swiftly drawn, ever-changing portrait with sound by South Shields animator Sheila Graber layers history and time on a face. From a cry at birth to chilling silence, the torrent of images remind us of our fate at an unsettling speed. Just ‘a brief flicker between two great silences’. Face to Face screened at the London Film Festival in 1983 and won a BBC Best Animation Award in 1984.