A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
After a night of carousing with a friend (Fred Draper) and a call girl (Gena Rowlands), a successful business man (John Marley) returns home to his wife (Lynn Carlin), with whom he seems to get along with. After dinner and some fooling around, he quickly becomes enraged and abruptly asks for a divorce, leaving the house to return to the prostitute. His wife then goes out with her friends and finds herself home alone with a swinging, mindless younger man (Seymour Cassel). "Faces" is an intentionally rough looking and uncomfortable film directed by John Cassavetes, a director whose style strikes me as more European than any American director I can think of (there's even a reference to Bergman here). Shot in grainy black and white and comprised largely of closeups, "Faces" abandons any traditional film narrative resulting in a very realistic portrait. Things are presented on screen and not explained, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions. The acting in the film is of the highest order as well. John Marley, who played Jack Woltz in "The Godfather", is very strong and believable as the successful and unsatisfied young man and Gena Rowlands, Cassavetes' wife and film regular, is wonderful as well. Lynn Carlin submits fine work as Marley's vulnerable wife and Seymour Cassel has a very powerful scene we don't expect when his dopey character is introduced. John Cassavetes was a visionary director who was uncompromising with his work. Here, as with much of his work, the result is brimming with authenticity.