Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Cassavetes|
|Produced by||Maurice McEndree|
|Written by||John Cassavetes|
|Starring|| John Marley |
|Edited by||Al Ruban|
|Distributed by||Continental Distributing|
130 minutes (General cut)
147 minutes (Criterion cut)
Faces is a 1968 drama film, written and directed by John Cassavetes, and starring John Marley, Cassavetes' wife Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel, and Lynn Carlin. In 2011, it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
In film and television, drama is a genre of narrative fiction intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular subgenre, such as "police crime drama", "political drama", "legal drama", "historical period drama", "domestic drama", or "comedy-drama". These terms tend to indicate a particular setting or subject-matter, or else they qualify the otherwise serious tone of a drama with elements that encourage a broader range of moods.
John Nicholas Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. Cassavetes was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing over a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed, and pioneered the use of improvisation and a cinéma vérité style. He also acted in many Hollywood films, notably Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Dirty Dozen (1967). He studied acting with Don Richardson, utilizing an alternative technique to method acting which privileged character over traditional narrative. His income from acting made it possible for him to direct his own films independently.
John Marley was an American actor who was known for his role as Phil Cavalleri in Love Story and as Jack Woltz— the defiant film mogul who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed—in The Godfather (1972). He starred in John Cassavetes' feature Faces (1968) and appeared in The Glitter Dome (1984).
The film, shot in cinéma vérité -style, depicts the final stages of the disintegrating marriage of a middle-aged couple (John Marley and Lynn Carlin). We are introduced to various groups and individuals the couple interacts with after the husband's sudden statement of his desire for a divorce. Afterwards, he spends the night in the company of brash businessmen and prostitutes, while the wife spends it with her middle-aged female friends and an aging, free-associating playboy they've picked up at a bar. The night proceeds as a series of tense conversations and confrontations occur.
Cinéma vérité is a style of documentary filmmaking, invented by Jean Rouch, inspired by Dziga Vertov's theory about Kino-Pravda and influenced by Robert Flaherty’s films. It combines improvisation with the use of the camera to unveil truth or highlight subjects hidden behind crude reality.
Lynn Carlin is an American actress.
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American actress, whose career in film, stage, and television has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in ten films, including A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980), which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Opening Night (1977). In November 2015, Rowlands received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her unique screen performances.
Seymour Joseph Cassel is an American actor.
Frederick Paul Draper II was an American film and television actor. He was roommates in New York City with Harry Mastrogeorge and John Cassavetes while attending The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York with Grace Kelly, Anne Bancroft and others. He graduated May 1, 1950. He appeared on numerous television programs and films.
The film was shot in high-contrast 16 mm black and white film stock.
As is the case with several of Cassavetes' films, several different versions of Faces are known to exist (though it was generally assumed that, after creating the general release print, Cassavetes destroyed the alternative versions). It was initially premiered in Toronto with a running time of 183 minutes, before Cassavetes cut it down to 130 minutes. Though the 130-minute version is the general release version, a print of a longer version with a running time of 147 minutes was accidentally found by Ray Carney, and was deposited at the Library of Congress. 17 minutes of this print were included in the Criterion box set John Cassavetes: Five Films, though Carney has said that there are numerous differences between the two films.
Raymond "Ray" Carney, is an American scholar and critic, primarily known for his work as a film theorist, although he writes extensively on American art and literature as well. He is known for his study of the works of actor and director John Cassavetes. He teaches in the Film & Television department of the College of Communication at Boston University and has published several books on American art and film.
Faces holds an 85% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews with an average rating of 7.2/10.Roger Ebert wrote that the film "tenderly, honestly and uncompromisingly examines the way we really live."
Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. The name "Rotten Tomatoes" derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.
Carlin and Cassel both received acting Academy Award nominations. Cassavetes was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar".
The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best screenplay not based upon previously published material. It was created in 1940 as a separate writing award from the Academy Award for Best Story. Beginning with the Oscars for 1957, the two categories were combined to honor only the screenplay. In 2002, the name of the award was changed from Writing to Writing .
In 2011, Faces was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The Registry called the film "an example of cinematic excess" whose extended confrontations revealed "emotions and relations of power between men and women that rarely emerge in more conventionally structured films."
Faces, and other Cassavetes projects, had significant creative impact on Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Robert Altman.
Mean Streets is a 1973 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and co-written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin. The film stars Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. It was released by Warner Bros. on October 2, 1973. De Niro won the National Society of Film Critics award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as "Johnny Boy" Civello.
Shadows is a 1958 American independent drama film directed by John Cassavetes about race relations during the Beat Generation years in New York City. The film stars Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni and Hugh Hurd as three African-American siblings, though only one of them is dark-skinned. The film was initially shot in 1957 and shown in 1958, but a poor reception prompted Cassavetes to rework it in 1959. Promoted as a completely improvisational film, it was intensively rehearsed in 1957, and in 1959 it was fully scripted.
A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. The story follows a woman whose unusual behavior leads to conflict with her blue-collar husband and family. It received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Director. In 1990, A Woman Under the Influence was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", one of the first fifty films to be so honored.
Gloria is a 1980 American thriller crime drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. It tells the story of a gangster's girlfriend who goes on the run with a young boy who is being hunted by the mob for information he may or may not have. It stars Gena Rowlands, Julie Carmen, Buck Henry, and John Adames.
Hoop Dreams is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Steve James and produced by James, Frederick Marx, and Peter Gilbert, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.
Playing by Heart is a 1998 American comedy-drama film, which tells the story of several seemingly unconnected characters. It was entered into the 49th Berlin International Film Festival. It stars Gillian Anderson, Ellen Burstyn, Sean Connery, Anthony Edwards, Angelina Jolie, Jay Mohr, Ryan Phillippe, Dennis Quaid, Gena Rowlands, Jon Stewart and Madeleine Stowe.
Light of Day is a 1987 American musical drama film starring Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands and Joan Jett. It was written and directed by Paul Schrader. The original music score was composed by Thomas Newman and the cinematography is by John Bailey.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a 1976 American crime film directed and written by John Cassavetes and starring Ben Gazzara. A rough and gritty film, this is the second of their three collaborations, following Husbands and preceding Opening Night.
Opening Night is a 1977 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes, and starring Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell, Paul Stewart, Zohra Lampert, and Cassavetes.
Love Streams is a 1984 American film directed by John Cassavetes that tells the story of a middle-aged brother and sister who find themselves caring for one another after the other loves in their lives abandon them. The film was Cassavetes' 11th and penultimate film. He later made the more mainstream Big Trouble.
A Constant Forge is a 2000 documentary film directed by Charles Kiselyak about the life and work of John Cassavetes.
A Child Is Waiting is a 1963 American drama film written by Abby Mann based on his 1957 Westinghouse Studio One teleplay of the same name. The film was produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by John Cassavetes. Burt Lancaster portrays the director of a state institution for mentally handicapped and emotionally disturbed children, and Judy Garland is a new teacher who challenges his methods.
Tempest is a 1982 American comedy-drama film directed by Paul Mazursky. It is a loosely based, modern-day adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, The Tempest. The picture features John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Susan Sarandon, Raúl Juliá and Molly Ringwald in her feature film debut.
Two-Minute Warning is a 1976 thriller/disaster film directed by Larry Peerce and starring Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, Gena Rowlands, and David Janssen. It was based on the novel of the same name written by George LaFountaine. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.
Lady Rowlands was an American film actress. Most of her work came in the films of John Cassavetes, who was married to her daughter, the Academy Award-nominated and four-time Emmy Award-winning actress Gena Rowlands.
Yellow is a 2012 American drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and written by Nick Cassavetes and Heather Wahlquist. The film stars Riley Keough, Sienna Miller, David Morse, Ray Liotta, Melanie Griffith and Lucy Punch. The film was awarded "Best Film" at the Catalina Film Festival on September 22, 2013.