John Cassavetes Films

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American Independent Cinema
Midterm Assignment- #2

John Cassavetes’ film Faces (1968) exemplifies his loose editing, basic lighting, documentary style of footage. Cassavetes didn’t have a concern for the filming techniques that are most recognized in Hollywood and art films. He supported and focused on accommodating the spontaneity of his actors while still sticking to the script. Cassavetes’ films have a strikingly alive and spontaneous approach, which makes it hard to believe there’s a script to follow. His style of filming comes filled with dancing, laughing, fighting, and crying.

The film Faces targets two people searching for love and acceptance. This film gives a raw look at a marriage on the rocks. Richard Frost is seeking attention from a woman other than his wife, Jeannie who is a high-class prostitute. His wife Maria feels neglected by Frost so spends a night on the town with her friends and ends up bring Chet, a young playboy, back to her home at the end of the night. It is hard to detect the inner desires of these characters, but we do know that they both aren’t acting out normal behaviors, very similar to Cassavetes’ film A Woman Under the Influence. In this film, we follow a rural housewife and her emotional catastrophe mainly due to neglect from her distant husband. This also addresses the neglect and behavior of spouses in semi-dysfunctional relationships.

Cassavetes’s films have a style that swims against the stream. Probably the only thing comparable between his films and any that I’ve seen is that there are actors and a script. While other filmmakers strive to exhibit human behavior in a artistic or extravagant way, Cassavetes shows just the same in a more stimulating way using bad lighting and clumsy close-ups. I feel as if Cassavetes’ films wouldn’t be accepted or liked in the film industry today. He goes against all the rules of filming hat most people would just view as a lack of manners. His film Faces, for instance, started...
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