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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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After "Faces", the Cassavetes' experiment that created a revolution of form (cinema verite used for fictional narrative when this was absolutely 'unacceptable' in Hollywood), "Love Streams" gets my vote for his very best work, and one of his two or three true masterpieces. Both John and Gena give the performances of their lives, using their history with each other to create a natural intimacy as brother and sister that is second to none. John also knew he was dying and gave everything left of himself for the camera, and as filmmaker. The project was developed from a play and performed many times in front of audiences with Jon Voight in the lead: another experiment that delivered a unique depth to the material; and after seeing both the play and the movie, I'd say John taking over for Jon was an inspired decision by both of them. When the movie came out, it only played about a week (to comply with a contract with Cannon) before being shelved, not even put out on the art theater or revival circuit. I actually worked at Cannon, where rumor had it that Golem was punishing John for not cutting even a minute out of the long movie. Imagine cutting a masterpiece for just a few more screenings! "Love Streams" should eventually find its way to the recognition that it is one of American cinema's greatest achievements.
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