John Cassevetes was the true original of independent cinema. The money he got from acting in Rosemary's Baby (1968) all went to the filming of Faces (1968). He spent years editing the 16 mm footage.
The film became legendary before anyone had ever seen it, & for years it remained just about his least seen movie, hence it became most subject to folklore regarding its intense perfection, which turns out to be at least partially imaginary.
It's a scruffy film to be sure, but when Gena Rowlands & John Marley were on screen I was rivetted by their performances. Other elements of the film were not as captivating until almost the end when Seymour Cassel's character has to deal with a suicidal date, & I loved how he rose to the occasion.
I'm a great Cassavetes fan & enjoyed this one too; it has a certain aura of genius surrounding it, & it felt in places like a previous generation's version of a Mike Leigh film. But some of Cassavetes films leave me awestruck & this one didn't quite.
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