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FACES

Director: JOHN CASSAVETES

U.S.A • 1968 • BLACK AND WHITE • 129 MIN.


WITH ALMOST TEN YEARS SEPARATING IT FROM SHADOWS, CASSAVETES’ SECOND INDEPENDENT FEATURE IS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, A DOCUMENTARY ON THE CHANGES THAT HAD TAKEN PLACE IN HIS OWN LIFE.
He had moved from New York to California and his career as a Hollywood professional had given him a comfortable material life. The central story of Faces, the break-up of the marriage of a middle-aged businessman (John Marley) and his wife (Lynn Carlin), takes place in a rambling, gleaming modern home. The glassy fixtures and fittings, and their failure to make the bourgeois characters who rattle around in them happy, may suggest a very ’60s tale of alienation; but Cassavetes saw himself, if not as the champion of these people, at least as their spokesman. Their drunken misery and flings at adultery may seem a long way from the anarchic bonhomie of Shadows, but in the end it’s just another expression of everyday unhappiness and the pressures of time and mortality.

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