Faces 1968 PG-13 CC

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(24) IMDb 7.7/10
Available in HD
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The disintegration of a marriage is dissected in John Cassavetes' searing Faces.

John Marley, Gena Rowlands
2 hours 11 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director John Cassavetes
Starring John Marley, Gena Rowlands
Supporting actors Lynn Carlin, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery, Dorothy Gulliver, Joanne Moore Jordan, Darlene Conley, Gene Darfler, Elizabeth Deering, Ann Shirley, Dave Mazzie, Anita White, Julie Gambol, Edwin Sirianni, Liz Satriano, O.G. Dunn, Jerry Howard, David Rowlands
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Faces is a raw experimental film where actors are allowed to be both natural and ...well method actors.
Christopher J. Jarmick
Faces is about marriage and love, and whether or not life can be lived happily when faced with either one of them.
Mad Zack
This makes all the laughter seem forced, it makes the actors look bad, & it makes the characters look stupid.
no one

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Martin Doudoroff on October 19, 1999
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Faces" carries the dubious distinction of being considered the first "breakthrough" independent American feature.
"Faces" is a John Cassavetes film. It is also categorically one of the two or three greatest masterpieces of American cinema. (This is neither just a personal opinion, nor an exaggeration. This film is essential.) What makes this film so special will be lost on many domestic viewers, unfortunately, who simply aren't prepared for the experience. Nearly everything about the film is subversive of conventional Hollywood filmmaking techniques, and this is frustrating for people who aren't ready for it. For example, the film never "tells" you anything about the characters: you have to patiently observe them throughout the film, just as if they were real other people in the room. Furthermore, in typical Cassavetes' style, the characters' behavior is extreme, which can be unsettling. Finally, the film is pretty grim. However, if you're ready for a new experience, and can approach the viewing experience with an open and tolerant mind, this film will BLOW YOU AWAY.
The DVD is nothing special; I'm just grateful to have the film. The transfer isn't particularly sharp, and was made off an inglorious print. Framing -- full frame -- seems fine; if I remember correctly, the original (16mm) is not widescreen, so nothing should be lost. (The odd cropping that appears throughout the film is intentional.) Highest recommendation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on November 20, 2002
Format: DVD
I've never seen a movie quite like this in my life! It's technically raw, the sound's bad and half the time I had no idea what was going on, but it builds to a brilliant portrait of four lonely lives. The bad jokes and laughter that eat up so much film time connect loose, rambunctious scenes that defy strict narrative logic--after a while it feels like you're watching this movie from the inside, right in the thick of the cigarettes and booze. As usual, Cassavetes shoots the '60s from unexpected angles: his focus is on the middle-aged middle managers and their fading suburban wives, stuck on the wrong side of the Sexual Revolution but still desperate to feel young and fulfilled. The movie doesn't make fun of them but brings you into their world, where disappointment, age and the pressures of conformity are finally getting the best of their vitality. Imagine "The Graduate" told from Mrs. Robinson's point of view. The powerful last scene ends in silence after a suicide attempt--no laughs, no routines. The death of a marriage or a new beginning? Cassavetes rarely matched this level of intensity. "Faces" is one of his very best.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Warren on June 9, 2010
Format: DVD
John Cassavetes is widely regarded as the father of the Independent film, who believed that risking anything was the only way to go, who bluntly told Scorsese Boxcar Bertha "sucked" (Scorsese then turned and created Mean Streets), and treated his crew like family who he payed very little (or at all). Whether or not Cassavetes is THE father of the Independent film is up to the film historians to decide. Besides, John Cassavetes was not interested in making films to make history or be the strict anti-trend to the big budget nature of Hollywood. John Cassavetes was interested in making films that give us truths about our lives, and he did so greatly, in a very different and low budget kind of nature that made his work seem even more honest. John Cassavetes Face's is, among the rest of his work, the most well known of his films to enter the public domain, and for many reasons is probably the best Cassavetes work to start with, next to A Women Under the Influence (a very devastating work).

Shot in Cassavetes' trademark documentary style filmmaking, the no BS approach to filming makes Faces even more realistic to watch. It is shot in high contrast black and white, and it look as low budget and unpolished as any other very low budget film. Don't be too surprised though, Faces is no banal third rate student film work. Cassavetes Oscar-nominated script effortlessly delves into the lives of these empty people and what makes them act the way they are. It is not a sloppy film either, as Cassavetes's camera work is actually quite inventive, and feels done right without making a big hoopla over how it is being used.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The state of independent film today, it is safe to say, would be radically different if it weren't for the pioneering art of John Cassavetes. His unapologetically realist style, coupled with intimate cooperation with his actors and his understanding of the emotional power of improvisation, has earned him the oft-applied title: Father of Independent Film. In Faces, the most mainstream-appreciated of his work, John Marley and Lynn Carlin are a middle-aged couple of swingers, trying to fill the gaps in their emotional relationship by having spontaneous trysts with socially peripheral characters--Marley with Gena Rowlands (a prostitute) and Carlin with Seymour Cassel (a beatnik). However, they find that they cannot be as casual as they wish, and end up tangled in all new romantic involvements with their lovers, which only serves to augment the emptiness they feel in their marriage. Cassavetes' ultra-realist camera style, alternatingly far-off/detached and then extremely close to the actors' faces (hence the title) reflects the characters' emotional states and yet, at the same time, is objectively distant--a style that has been aped recently in many indie features. John Cassavetes' son Nicholas has begun making his own movies (Unhook The Stars and She's So Lovely--written by his late father) and seems to be on the road to his own well-deserved success.
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