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The film describes a few days in the life of the writer Robert Harmon and his sister Sarah. The decadent life of Robert is made of alcohol, cigarettes, and short-time relationships with women; women he interviews for a book, he spends a weekend with at a casino or fall in love with for the fun of an evening. Having no constraints, he his unable to be responsible for anything including the care of his son, leaving him alone in an hotel room and teaching the 8-years old boy how to drink. His life is made of his own phantasms as an artist. His sister is divorcing from her husband because of her exuberant and insane behavior. She scares her daughter Debbie who prefers to stay with her father, a decision that hurts Sarah very deeply and reinforces her nervous breakdown. Most of the movie takes place in the house of Robert. We watch Robert and Sarah struggling with their own lives. As the movie progresses, the house gets empty little by little... Written by
Cyril Aubaud (email@example.com)
I've seen five of Cassavetes' films, and for all of them, there is a long adjustment time. His filmmaking is so unique that it's initially off-putting. But if you stay with his films, you will soon find yourself engrossed. I wonder if that is one of the reasons most of his movies were so long--to allow for the audience to adjust. In this film, he introduces us to two extremely damaged individuals and we don't realize until the second hour that they are brother and sister. You get a real feel for the "home movie" method writer/director/star Cassavetes employed and the house in this movie looks exactly like the house from A Woman Under the Influence, so was this actually their house??? It is just as messy and oddly decorated, as if it had not been picked up in nearly ten years. This movie doesn't seem to have much of a plot, although it plays like an interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. I wonder if this was Cassevetes' intent as he appeared in a modern version of The Tempest (directed by Paul Mazursky) two years before this movie came out. This film could have been a real endurance test as some scenes go on forever. But anyone interested in seeing what has been called Cassevetes' most personal film, and a late career example of his style, should see this. It plays like a swan song to him as he died a few years after he made this. He seemed to have a fondness for serving alcohol to little kids, as this is the third movie I've seen of his where this happens. I haven't mentioned Gena Rowlands--she's just as good here as she was in Faces or Woman Under the Influence. She plays her sick character so well that you really believe that she could bring home all of those barnyard animals. I would not recommend this to anyone looking for entertainment but if you want to see something you surely will not forget anytime soon, then watch this.
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