HUSBANDS
1970, Sony Repertory, 131 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Death, booze and gambling dominate this dour, yet strangely life-affirming dissection of masculinity and the male ego. Cassavetes’ fifth feature, HUSBANDS follow three men, who abandon their wives and adult responsibilities for purely hedonistic exploits after learning of the death of a common friend. Seeing camaraderie as the only antidote for existential dread, the trio makes its way to London, where they forge a stronger bond while becoming further disconnected from reality. Starring Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and Cassavetes himself, the film is a painful, sublime, and often funny portrait of grief and desperation.


OPENING NIGHT
1977, Westchester Films, 144 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Preparing for a play about aging, Myrtle Gordon (an incredible Gena Rowlands) is fighting her own midlife crisis when she’s dealt a knockout blow - a young fan who’d sought her autograph is hit by a car and killed. As the production’s director (Ben Gazzara), costar (John Cassavetes) and playwright (Joan Blondell) insist that the show must go on, Myrtle descends into drink and depression as opening night approaches.


LOVE STREAMS
1984, Park Circus, 141 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Love streams and surges in strange ways in this latter-era film by the great John Cassavetes. He also stars as Robert Harmon, a boozy, hedonistic writer who’s thrown for a loop when the son he’s never seen is dropped off on his doorstep. The kid is followed in short order by Harmon’s beleaguered sister (Gena Rowlands), a woman who thinks she can deliver balance to their lives via a taxi full of rescued animals.


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