This page describes the press response to Prof. Carney's discovery of the long version of Faces in 2001. To read about that discovery, click here.

To read a chronological listing of events between 1979 and the present connected with Ray Carney's search for, discovery of, and presentation of new material by or about John Cassavetes, including a chronological listing of the attempts of Gena Rowlands's and Al Ruban's to deny or suppress Prof. Carney's finds, click here.

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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, DECEMBER 13, 2002 ON RAY CARNEY'S DISCOVERY OF THE LONG VERSION OF FACES:

Unearthing a 'lost' John Cassavetes film
By Pat Nason
UPI Hollywood Reporter
> From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 12/13/2002

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Film historians are analyzing the value of a "lost" version of "Faces," the breakthrough 1968 movie by the late John Cassavetes, which was recently discovered in the Library of Congress film archive.

Ray Carney -- professor of Film and American Studies, director of the graduate and undergraduate Film Studies Programs, and chair of graduate admissions for Film Studies at Boston University -- made the discovery recently, when he noticed a discrepancy in the Library of Congress online catalogue of archived films. On top of everything else, Carney is an expert on the life and work of Cassavetes, and the independent film movement that the actor helped popularize in the 1960s.

According to a news release issued by Boston University, Carney "had a gut feeling something was amiss" when the online catalogue listed one copy of "Faces" as 18 minutes longer than the others. Library staffers told Carney it was probably a clerical error, but he decided to travel to Washington to be sure.

As soon as he started to screen the print, Carney said he knew he had discovered a historic "lost" version of the movie, one that Cassavetes may have meant to be released theatrically.

"The evidence from the credits alone was so conclusive, and I was so excited, that I stopped the film before the first scene had appeared on screen and told (library staffers) what they had sitting in storage unknown to them for so many years, waiting to be discovered," said Carney.

According to the university's release, Carney has written five books on Cassavetes and knows "Faces" cold -- shot-by-shot. He manages a web site devoted to the filmmaker at www.Cassavetes.com.

The discovery is exciting for Cassavetes fans and film preservationists in general, said Ken Wlaschin, director of Creative Affairs at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

"Because John Cassavetes isn't with us anymore and this is one of his most important films, this is fascinating," said Wlaschin. "He had a lot of trouble editing this movie. The original cut, I understand was six hours long. He probably made a number of different versions. It will be interesting to see how he changed it."

"Faces" -- a drama about the dissolution of a middle-aged couple's marriage -- was widely regarded at the time of its release as the first non-commercial movie to be embraced by a mass American audience. Starring Cassavetes' wife, Gena Rowlands, the film was nominated for three Oscars -- including original screenplay (Cassavetes), supporting actor (Seymour Cassel) and supporting actress (Lynn Carlin). The National Society of Film Critics honored Cassavetes with is best screenplay prize and named Cassel best supporting actor.

According to Carney, the movie went through at least five completely different assemblies, and it was widely thought that Cassavetes had destroyed all the alternative versions once he settled on the final release print.

"The location of an alternate version is of clear historical importance," said Carney. "It seems likely that it represents one of Cassavetes' final versions; in fact, it may have been intended to be the release version. It's no exaggeration to compare this discovery to finding a version of 'Citizen Kane' with a new beginning and a different shot selection."

Wlaschin said the discovery underscores the importance of film preservation.

"The interesting thing is that archives like the Library of Congress, UCLA, and so on, are repositories of the past," he said. "You can, years after an artist has passed on, see something that they did."

Cassavetes died in 1989 at the age of 59, after spending nearly 40 years in film as an actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. The IFP Independent Spirit Awards, the top honors in the independent film world, include a John Cassavetes Award -- presented to the writer, director and producer of the best feature made for under $500,000.

Cassavetes wrote and directed nine feature films, including "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974), "Husbands" (1970) and "Shadows" (1959). His acting credits included "Rosemary's Baby" (1968) and "The Dirty Dozen" (1967).

Carney's most recent book on the filmmaker, "Cassavetes on Cassavetes," was published in 2001.

Copyright 2002 United Press International

This page describes the press response to Prof. Carney's discovery of the long version of Faces in 2001. To read about that discovery, click here.

To read a chronological listing of events between 1979 and the present connected with Ray Carney's search for, discovery of, and presentation of new material by or about John Cassavetes, including a chronological listing of the attempts of Gena Rowlands's and Al Ruban's to deny or suppress Prof. Carney's finds, click here.

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Text Copyright 2004 by Ray Carney. All rights reserved. May not be reprinted without written permission of the author.