Faye Dunaway in Puzzle of a Downfall Child, 1970.
Happy 70th birthday to one of the most gorgeous women ever, Faye Dunaway. My love for her knows no bounds as her face really was the most exquisite I've ever seen, and she usually chose interesting and intriguing films. Recently I had the opportunity to see her in Jerry Schatzberg's Puzzle of a Downfall Child. Made at the end of the sixties, the film non-linearly tells the story of a model's descent into madness. Schatzberg's first film, it bombed in the theatres; its complicated narrative making it difficult viewing for the fans that Dunaway had amassed after Bonnie and Clyde and The Thomas Crown Affair. The movie has almost completely disappeared over the intervening years, so for one night Film Forum showed the only known print of it to an excited audience- many, like me, who had seen photos and read of this film for years without being able to track it down. After the film, Jerry Schatzberg answered some questions and told some anecdotes about Faye that helped to illuminate her and her work method. She was probably at her most beautiful at points in the film, but she also seemed incredibly fragile- a remarkable performance that is sadly forgotten.