On Tuesday evenings, I sometimes attend “being a person” classes (a.k.a. yoga and meditation.) This week’s homework: offer your face. Truly. Next time you greet the bus driver or your child or the woman who sells you milk, try not to avert your eyes.
I’ve been working at it. It’s not so easy. That’s why I’ve chosen John Cassavetes, unflinching master of the close-up, to be my Patron Saint of Faces.
Cassavetes understood faces. He gave a face to the basic human need to be recognized. He gave faces to characters who often behaved awkwardly or badly or bizarrely in misguided bids for attention. His faces laughed and seduced and sang and crumpled and cried. They were twitchy and beautiful and sometimes out of focus. Above all, his faces sought our love.