FACES
1968, Westchester Films, 130 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Both a sharp-eyed portrait of lives of quiet desperation and an excoriating look at the power games between men and women, FACES lays bare the raw nerves just below the surface of a relationship. John Marley and Lynn Carlin play a couple whose marriage explodes; as they try to drown their problems in drink and meaningless flings, Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel serve their respective purposes. Shot cinema verite style on 16mm stock, this revolutionary independent film earned Oscar nominations for Cassavetes, Carlin and Cassel.


MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ
1971, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Minnie Moore is a museum curator whose married boyfriend does little for her self-esteem. Enter parking-lot attendant Seymour Moskowitz, who tells Minnie, “I think about you so much, I forget to go to the bathroom!” As mismatched as the title couple may seem, Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel make these wounded but hopeful souls entirely real. While Cassavetes remains conscious of the disconnect between movie-inspired romantic ideals and real-life relationships, he gives an early-’70s New Hollywood spin to the screwball comedy here.


GLORIA
1980, Sony Repertory, 123 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Writer-director John Cassavetes was hardly known for crime thrillers, but he made a riveting one in GLORIA. Gena Rowlands earned an Oscar nomination in the tough-as-nails title role, a mobster’s ex-girlfriend on the run through the gritty streets of New York with a young boy being targeted by hit men. Costarring Buck Henry.


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