Faces (Cassavetes, 1968)

Faces spends two dialogue driven hours with various couplings of characters yearning for an emotional connection despite the strict social and class conventions which seem to be strangling the life right out of them. Cassavetes’ masterpiece is an unglamorous observation of changing times, shifting impressions, and extreme disappointments framed within a constricting vision 60’s Los Angeles. There isn’t a single establishing shot in the entire film, and Cassavetes emphasizes the close-up for good reason, focusing on the element of performance like no other director. Cassavetes pushes his wonderful troupe of actors toward a realization of imperfection, then gives them a glance at the beauty within the chaos no matter how difficult the process has been.

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