John Cassavetes

T. It.: Volti; Scen.: John Cassavetes; F.: Al Ruban; Mo.: Al Ruban, Maurice Mcendree; Scgf.: Phedon Papamichael; Mu.: Jack Ackerman; Su.: Don Pike; Int.: John Marley (Richard Forst), Gena Rowlands (Jeannie Rapp), Lynn Carlin (Maria Forst), Seymour Cassel (Chet), Fred Draper (Freddie), Val Avery (Jim Mccarthy), Dorothy Gulliver (Floren­ce), Joanne Moore Jordan (Louise), Darlene Conley (Billy Mae), Gene Darfler (Joe Jackson), Elizabeth Deering (Stella), Anne Shirley (Anne), Anita White (Nita), Erwin Siriani (Harry Selfrine), Jim Bridges (Jim Mortensen), Don Kraatz (Edward Kazmier); Prod.: Maurice Mcendree Productions; Pri. Pro.: 24 Novembre 1968; 35mm. D.: 130′. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

“One hundred and fifty feet of film, six months of retakes, four years of editing. Reduced to two hours, Faces– as the title suggests – is obsession with faces, pushed to paroxysm. Cas­savetes films them in close-up, with different cameras, in shot- sequence, so that the actors can play in continuity. In the first part, they never cease moving, and this results in a non-stop movement that ends by creating a kind of anguish. The same experienced by the characters. In the second, calmer section, a real and actual plot replaces the digressions of the drunken men. Faces is the darkest film of Cassevetes. Because alcohol not only aids and supports the idea of death (as in Husbands). It goes further; it makes death desirable. And above all, it does not console the failure of amour fou (as in Love Streams) because here l’amour fou does not exist. Tenderness remains, dispensed in two sublime sequences, by a call girl (Gena Rowlands) and a gigolo (Seymour Cassel)”.

Claude-Marie Trémois, Le Guide du cinéma chez soi, edited by Pierre Murat, “Télérama” hors-série, Paris, 2002


“Most times John called ‘stop’ only when there was no more film in the camera. He wanted to discover something, in the precise moment of filming. We had a sort of blessed innocence, which made us dare everything. We used different kinds of film, negative and reversal. For the scene in the room I wanted a film-stock that wasn’t grainy, to show the beauty of Gena Row­lands. For the night club, I chose a film which eliminated all the grey scale, to get a contrasty image. From the moment we worked in 16mm, it was necessary, so as to blow it up to 35mm, to develop separately each roll (that is, every scene, not every reel!) and transfer the negative onto reversal”.

Thierry Jousse, Conversation with Al Ruban, in John Cas- savetes, Éditions de l’Étoile/Cahiers du Cinéma, Paris, 1989


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