For Reel

Love Streams (1984)
October 10, 2015, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: John Cassavetes
4.5 Stars
Love StreamsAn argument against the sentiment that director John Cassavetes made films that were merely interested in social realism, Love Streams is the culmination of a career following damaged, hopelessly alone people who are trying to connect. From the very beginning, there is a lack of exposition regarding the parade of women in Robert Harmon’s (Cassavetes) home–so, too, is the fact that he and Sarah Lawson (Gena Rowlands) are siblings withheld. A recurrent question asked throughout the film is whether love is a continuous stream, which the detached Harmon has a hard time swallowing. The stream is an apt metaphor for the construction of this narrative, which ambles its way through a number of episodes that gradually begin to devolve into surreal territory, a boiling over of the intensity of the feeling. Just as well as Cassavetes captures these bizarre moments, so too does he exceed in photographing the supposedly mundane–the custody hearings are brilliantly photographed, displaying a sophisticated use of blocking and camera placement. These shots emphasize both close-ups with an excess of blank space (where the actor will occupy only a third or so of the frame) and shots in which the case workers are photographed as barriers between the dissolved family.

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