Faces (1968, John Cassavetes)

Whoa, I thought I knew lead actor John Marley, but I guess I’ve only seen him in The Godfather. Definitely know Gena Rowlands, the greatest of all actresses, as John’s new girl. Lynn Carlin is best known for this, and was oscar nominated for it, as was Seymour Cassel in his first big part, looking very young and smooth as Chet.

Cassavetes’ second canonical film after 1959’s Shadows, although he directed some others in between and co-wrote Too Late Blues.

Film looks terrific, all blown-up grainy b/w, sometimes a nice long take to let an actor’s piece play out, but it seems less like an improv than Shadows was. Wouldn’t mind reading up on Cassavetes to see how the film was conceived and constructed.

In short: Richard and Maria are rich, bored, and have no sex life, so Richard leaves her for Jeannie and Maria has an affair with Chet the same night, but they end up at home together, not exactly reconciled, but maybe resigned. Ruminations on love, sex, fidelity, aging, and being too obsessed with yourself and your wealth to have a real human relationship.

Supremely non-entertaining, an honest and hurtful film, one of the best I’ve seen.

Some faces:

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