As pertaining to motion pictures, describes any film that exploits, in its marketing or promotion, the use of stereoscopic (3-dimensional) filmmaking techniques.

This blog is my notepad as I research a nonfiction book spotlighting 3-D genre films of the last century. While the book will focus primarily on films from the 60's, 70's and 80's this blog has no restrictions.

All articles on this blog are copyright 2010-13 of its author,
Jason Pichonsky, unless otherwise stated.

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The original Mask prop.
The first time a fan of The Mask discovers the prop mask used in the film they are in for a shock. While the film is in Black and White, the mask can only be described as made in Technicolor. Brilliant green and blue mosaics cover the skull shaped design and I’ve been told that its teeth are real human teeth.

The design of the mask used in the film was based on an actual South American mask. Julian Roffman explained the inspiration behind the design;

“In South America and in Africa, the witch doctors rub peyote inside the mask and the heat from their face releases the drug. They go into a tantrum, they have their own visions. So we knew the mask could do this. I researched masks and I found a South American Indian Mask that the tribes had used.”
Hamilton, Filmfax #25 p.87

Perhaps the mask Roffman had used was this one (pictured below) from the British Museum, a mosaic tiled mask from Mexico. “The skull of the Smoking Mirror” is a mosaic mask created to represent the Aztec deity Tezcatlipoca, whose name translates into English as “the Smoking Mirror”.

The Mosaic mask of Tezcatlipoca

The mask uses a human skull as its base, with the back cut away and lined with leather so it can be worn. The leather also creates a hinge for the jawbone.

The alternating bands of the mosaic are made of blue turquoise and black while the eyes are made of orbs of iron pyrite, encircled by a ring of white conch shell.

This mask dates back to the 15th-16th century AD.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the influence of the mask from the British Museum on the look of the one in the film seems pretty unmistakable. Great post!