XL Popcorn – Faces

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 823/1007Title: Faces
Director: John Cassavetes
Year: 1968
Country: USA

Usually when two 1001 movie posts come one after the other that means I have had a double bill thanks to the hub going on a work night out (or some other reason that leaves me home alone). Alas, this is a post from mid-April and actually a whole week has gone by since my last post. I cannot begin to describe just how busy work is and the general mindfuckery of the growing association of laptop at home with being work… so the blog is going to probably take a bit of a hit.

I was hoping, therefore, at least my next pick for the 1001 film list would be one that could get me psyched about writing it up immediately. Instead Faces reminds me of all the reasons why I never go to work drinks. As someone who doesn’t drink I find it exceptionally hard to be around people who are utterly out of their tree; much like everyone in this film.

Two hours of drunken laughter and screaming matches. There’s some great acting in here, that can’t be denied when you watch the crushing performance of Lynn Carlin, but so much of what aggravates me about being around drunk people is here on display. For example, did we need all the reprises of ‘Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair’? No, not at all.

There’s also a lot I could say about the uneven way that roles and experiences are distributed to the men and women in the film. It feels so blatant that I would believe that Cassavetes made a conscious choice to show men in all their toxic glory and show up the double standards faced by women (like how the now separated wife nearly dies on her first night out whereas the husband has a rollicking good time and proceeds to call his meant-to-be-soon-to-be ex-wife a ‘whore’ for adultery when he had done the same that night.

I think that, again, Faces suffers from my same distaste of a lot of American films from this era. There is such a self-indulgence in one’s own genius (even if it is just your own drunken ramblings) that ultimately made this film off-putting a lot of the time.

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