Washington, July 20: When Nicolas Cage and John Travolta fought it out in a bizarre 'Face/Off' bout in a 1997 science fiction action thriller by the same name, we took it as an entertainment of a fresh kind.
In 2018, a similar plot is unfolding in the reality though it's not so entertaining for the US even as the rest of the world is amused by the way the drama has proceeded.
And now, the latest cover (July 30) of TIME magazine - one of the high-profile publishing spaces the world has known - has seen a fair display of the real-life Face/Off by morphing the facial images of US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to symbolise the bizarre state the foreign policy of the US has found itself at the moment.
The image, made by visual artist Nancy Burson, has followed the recent summit between the two leaders in Helsinki, Finland, where Trump was accused of compromising his country's honour and pride with one of its biggest enemies.
The idea of morphing the images of the two leaders perhaps originates from the fact that nobody has really understood till now what makes Trump so fond of Putin that he can even dump his own country that he aims to make great again, to hold the Kremlin strongman high?
"A year and a half into his presidency, Trump's puzzling affinity for Putin has yet to be explained. Trump is bruised by the idea that Russian election meddling taints his victory, those close to him say, and can't concede the fact that Russia did try to interfere in the election, regardless of whether it impacted the outcome. He views this problem entirely through a political lens, these people say, unable or unwilling to differentiate between the question of whether his campaign colluded with Russia-which he denies-and the question of whether Russia attempted to influence the election," writes Brian Bennett in this week's cover story in TIME.
Burson found the way of mixing the two men's faces the best way to represent the puzzle that Trump presents when it comes to Putin. Like the 1997 film, one sometimes gets confused to understand as who is the actual who for Cage and Travolta had their faces and hence identities exchanged, creating every possible commotion in the world.
Here, though the two leaders haven't found themselves exactly interchanged, but there is a certain suspicion over Trump's real face and the 'mask' he wears over dealing with Russia.
Burson, who featured in TIME's 100 Photographs that documented the most influential images of all time, started her path-breaking photographic work with the scientists at MIT, leading the development of a compositing technology generated with computers.
Burson's work then went on to prove useful and even the sleuths used her mixing technique to age faces to track missing children. Her contribution included creation of an aged image of six-year-old Etan Patz, who was kidnapped and murdered, on the Front Page of New York Post in 1985.
Coming back to the 'Trumputin' image, Burson said by creating the composite image, she wanted the readers to "stop and think" about the similarities between the two presidents. She said by combining faces, she was actually enabling people to see what missed their eyes previously.