Friday, July 14, 2006

Giving Good Face

Do you remember that schoolyard putdown "face"? You would go up to someone and just say "face" with as much attitude as possible and it was the worst putdown imaginable. (I think it might have been a geographically-specific SoCal thing, but maybe I'm wrong, so I'm curious to know if all y'all out there who didn't grow up in SoCal had "face" on the playgrounds of the cities where you were growing up.) When you said "face" to someone, you were basically saying that they needed to get a new one. Or, there was a variation on face: "facial." It basically meant the same thing, but when you said "facial," you generally held one of your hands over your face like you were about to scratch your own face off. I guess it meant that you needed a facial and, like, maybe a mani and a pedi, too, while you're at it. Anyway, "facial" was even worse than "face" and kids can be cruel.

So one of my favorite bloggers, The Sheila Variations, had this post yesterday about great faces (which was inspired itself by another post on Dennis Cozzalio's blog about great faces) and these posts are basically just great pictures of people who they think have great faces (natch) and I love that idea, so basically I'm just stealing their thang. I really just wanted to post pictures of some of my favorite people--people who definitely don't need new faces. 'Cuz the ones they've got are already really good.

I'm not going to say who the people in the photographs below are--you probably know most of them, but you might not know all of them--because that's not what this is about. It's not about who they are, it's just about their faces. And I wouldn't consider this list my Definitive List of Best Faces (like, for instance, I wanted Michael J. Fox to be on the list, but I haven't found the photo I've been looking for), but the faces below are all pretty damn fine:

(and maybe I went a little overboard) (at first I was only going to post ten pictures) (but I kept finding great pictures that I just had to post)


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When I moved back to norcal in 4th grade we definitely had it.

And I think it's derived from "In your face."

Abd it's so funny (funny dumb) that it turned into "facial" with the hand movement. I can picture mean 10-year-old Kate doing that.


drc said...

I've never heard of such a thing...But then I am old.

And I didn't know a lot of the faces, but my favorite is the guy with the beard and the Dixie hat.

Boom Boom Becca said...

Never heard it here in Hotlanta.

Anonymous said...

ed harris. yummy!

Erik said...

Isn't that the hottest picture of Ed Harris EVER?

red said...

Oh Erik - these are all just awesome. I love scrolling down, pondering them - thinking about them - and also getting to know you a little bit better because of the faces you chose. So awesome.

That photo of Isabella is ... I have no words. Breathtaking.

Erik said...

Thank you Sheila--especially for inspiring me to do this post! I had so much fun searching for great photos of people I love.

And that IS a great photo of Isabella. She pretty amazing. I love her voice, too. (Which you obviously can't see in a photo, but you could kinda tell from her photo, if you'd never heard her speak, that she has a great voice.)

red said...

Oh, and the one of Parker is gorgeous. I love when she lets that softness out - you know? She's great when she's snarky and hard-edged - but I love that other side of her too. Beautiful.

Jesse said...

Parker Posey's Natalie Merchnat costume is really good. She's totally gonna win the contest come this Halloween.

Erik said...

Sheila, I know, when I found that photo of Parker, I was like "wow." I so wish that she had played Lois Lane in the new Superman movie. Nothing against Kate Bosworth, but I felt like Bosworth was simply too young for the role, and didn't have the weight that Margot Kidder had, and every time Parker Posey was onscreen I was trying to will the film gods to run fast enough that the earth would spin the other way and time would go backwards to before they started filming the movie and Parker could have been given the part, you know?

Erik said...

Jesse, she TOTALLY has a Natalie Merchant thing going with her hair--it's the barrets--that's funny.

Erik said...

Lindsay, "face" is totally derived from "in your face," I never thought of that before but now it sounds like there's no other possible explanation.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I'm not worried anymore.


Erik said...


Erik said...

I liked the idea of doing the face post without any commentary because the faces really speak for themselves, but I thought I would at least make a list here of who the faces belong to, for the curious.

1. Graham Greene, author
2. Grace Zabriskie, actor
3. Claire Danes, actor
4. Ed Harris, actor
5. Cindy Sherman, photographer
6. John Cameron Mitchell, actor, writer, director, Hedwig
7. Gael Garcia Bernal, actor
8. Bart Sterling, extra
9. John Irving, author
10. Martha Ronk, my former teacher, poet
11. Patti Smith, rock star
12. Carel Struycken, actor
13. Sam Shepard, journeyman
14. Isabella Rosellini, actor
15. Stevie Nicks, edge of 17
16. Wislava Szymborska, poet
17. Zadie Smith, author
18. Paul Thomas Anderson, auteur
19. Zach Quinto, my friend, actor
20. Mandy Freund, my friend, actor
21. Jeremy Irons, actor
22. John Hawkes, actor
23. Parker Posey, genius
24. Bjork, legend

Erik said...

and I have a special place in my heart for all of these people, even #8, who is the only face I didn't know before doing this post, but while I was looking for photos for this post I stumbled across his photo and I had to include it because I thought he has an amazing face, so now he's in my heart, but the place in my heart for him his new, whereas the places in my heart for everyone else on the list are old and worn-in and oh so comfortable, like your favorite blanket.

soleclaw said...

OMG, I am doing some major catch-up reading tonight and I really enjoyed this entry.

You happened to post my favorite picture of Stevie Nicks! She is so magical...

and how hot is Claire Danes in that picture? I'm drooling!

Great choices!

Erik said...

Yes, I love Stevie Nicks too. She's pretty fucking rad.

And I have loved Claire Danes ever since she was Angela Chase. I think she's totally luminous. (Is that how you spell "luminous?" Whatever. She's it.)

donna said...


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