I first saw Andy Huang’s “Doll Face” about a month ago, and thanks to an email from Danny Yount, I was reminded of it recently. Conceptually, it’s a compelling look at how we modify ourselves both psychologically and physically to reflect idealized images presented in the media. The self-destruction of the cyborgian protagonist as it reaches for an impossible goal is a poignant critique of media-fueled attempts to change one’s identity.
Visually, it’s slick enough not to detract too much from the underlying narrative. The texturing/rendering/lighting seems a little rough, a little dated, but the film is a couple years old, so that’s probably why. The shots of the composited female face buoy the piece nicely, giving it enough polish and charm to make up for shortcomings elsewhere.
The whole thing reminds me of a scene from Mirrormask in which the protagonist is being “made-up” by an army of robots. The intimate dance between man and machine was as creepy and effective there as it is here.
EDIT: Here’s the aforementioned Mirrormask scene, courtesy of dek in the comments.