Saturday, June 9, 2007

Faces (1968)

Directed by John Cassavetes. Starring John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Gena Rowlands, and Seymour Cassel.

John Cassavetes is widely acknowledged as one of the forefathers of American independent cinema, making intimate films on a limited budget, often using 16mm cameras and casting friends, family members, and his wife Gena Rowlands. While his loosely-styled direction sometimes led to self-indulgent films (like GLORIA), it also crackled with the rawness and spontaneity of its characters' lives, and nowhere is this more in evidence than here. FACES tells the story of a married couple (Marley and Carlin) who decide to separate. While Marley carries on an affair with a prostitute (Rowlands), Carlin goes out with friends, meets a young man (Cassel), and has a one-night stand with him. Cassavetes relishes long scenes of dialogue, and his handheld camera is attuned to minute details of his characters as they drink, ramble, become enraged, then try to put themselves back together again.

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