John Cassavetes 'Faces': Film Analysis

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This essay examines the Cassavetes’s unique approach in his films he directed especially in Faces (1968) and Shadow (1959) in creating alternative forms of performative expression. Cassavetes’s approach focus on spontaneous, unstructured performance of characters, contradict to Stanislavski 's system that focus on emotion memory or actor’s past experience to bring out the expression on stage. In this essay, Cassavetes’s first film, Shadow, will be compared to his fourth film, Faces, to see development in Cassavetes’s approach in performance of character.

Shadow is a film about interracial relations between African-American and white Americans in 1950’s New York, starring Ben Carruthers as Ben, Lelia Goldoni as Lelia and Hugh Hurd as Hugh, the only dark-skinned among three siblings. The film directed by John Cassavetes
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Starring John Marley as Richard Forst, Cassavetes ' wife Gena Rowlands as Jeannie Rapp, Lynn Carlin as Maria Forst, Fred Draper as Freddie Draper and Seymour Cassel as Chet. In 2011, the film was selected for preservation in United States National Film Registry as one of America 's film heritage.

Cassavetes’s Approach In Shadow And Faces
John Cassavetes’s approach in film was dedicated to create alternative form of performance that focus on actor autonomous and unstructured character. Acting and lived performance of actors mixed together in Cassavetes’s films make the character eccentric at the same time feel “real”, as if each character has their own perspective and thought when they performed.

Cassavetes’s unique approach in performance was applied in his first film, Shadow, the scene when Tony Russell was repulsed when he discovered Lelia had a black brother show how Cassavetes’s approach improvises actor performance in many aspects on how actor react, express and respond as the character in muddled

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