161 - Faces (1968)

A couple with marital issues try swinging.

When Richard Forst (John Marley) gets tired of his wife (Lynn Carlin), he goes to visit a younger woman, Jeannie Rapp (Gena Rowlands). Following this encounter, he believes the only thing to do is to leave his wife for her.

Upon hearing the news his wife goes out to visit another man (Seymour Cassel). The film follows the couple as they struggle to leave a marriage they mutually dislike.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Truth be told, Faces coverts a time of life that I haven't reached yet and thus can't relate to - which probably explains my lack of understanding for the first three quarters of the film. Faces is also more of a documentary than a film used for entertainment due to its true-to-life scenario. This is probably another reason why the film feels to inaccessible - but the final half an hour is far more interesting as the film draws to its dramatic conclusion.

The way Faces tells its story is to continually focus in on the character's faces throughout the film. By using high contrast black and white film, this only serves to exemplify each emotion. One can only imagine the strain on the actors in order to remain controlled as the camera zooms right in, but they handle the pressure well.

Interesting, but only if you can get past the inaccessibility.