Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bissage Cringes, Part I

Last night we watched “Faces” by John Cassavetes, largely because of the great and powerful Althouse.

I found myself completely baffled.

I can’t even begin to explain "Faces" except to say that it’s about romantic relationships that are way effed-up and that old-timers back in the late 1960s sure couldn’t hold their liquor very well. Oh, and they sure smoked a lot of cigarettes.

Was Gena Rowlands a prostitute? Were the men all supposed to be outlier jerkoffs or was misogyny the order of the day? Hadn't anybody yet invented the concept of walking out of a fucked-up scene, populated by weirdos? Did everyone back in those days wear business suits all the time like a living, breathing New Yorker cartoon, set in a comfortable suburban psychiatric ward? What kind of man reads Playboy? Where’s Darrin Stephens when you need him?

That movie made me remember with a shudder what it was like to be a little kid back in the late-1960s wondering why the grown-ups were all acting like little kids. They told me at the time it was just my childish stupidity but now I’m not so sure about that.

Anyway, here’s something written by somebody smart to explain the movie much better than I can. LINK. Please note that I didn’t read it and that I recommend you don’t read it, either.

P.S. Wait! I can’t let this thing go without my standard-issue observation about how much of a super-misfit I was back in my half-assed theater days. “Faces” is chock-full of actors acting like they’re non-actors acting like actors. Singing songs. Impromptu dance numbers. Hokey histrionics. That stuff embarrasses the crap out of me.

BLEEECH!!! I think I watched half the movie peeking through the spaces between the fingers of my right hand. I was trying to protect myself from embarrassment by covering my face.

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!!! Maybe that’s how they came up with the title of the film! You know . . . FACES!!! When you go to see it, everybody in the cinema will be covering their faces.

That’s the best explanation I’ve come up with so far.

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