A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
1974, AGFA, 155 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Director John Cassavetes continued his ongoing collaboration with spouse Gena Rowlands and friend Peter Falk in this emotion-shredding tale of a Los Angeles housewife tenuously holding onto her sanity while trying to fulfill the expectations of her husband, children and society at large. Rowlands is stupendous as the woman in search of her self (her performance was nominated for an Oscar, along with Cassavetes for his direction), and Falk is astonishing in his portrayal of an alternately tender and boorish working-class hero who loves his wife deeply but is totally at sea on how to cope with her.


FACES
1968, Westchester Films, 130 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Both a sharp-eyed portrait of lives of quiet desperation and an excoriating look at the power games between men and women, FACES lays bare the raw nerves just below the surface of a relationship. John Marley and Lynn Carlin play a couple whose marriage explodes; as they try to drown their problems in drink and meaningless flings, Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel serve their respective purposes. Shot cinema verite style on 16mm stock, this revolutionary independent film earned Oscar nominations for Cassavetes, Carlin and Cassel.


MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ
1971, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Minnie Moore is a museum curator whose married boyfriend does little for her self-esteem. Enter parking-lot attendant Seymour Moskowitz, who tells Minnie, “I think about you so much, I forget to go to the bathroom!” As mismatched as the title couple may seem, Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel make these wounded but hopeful souls entirely real. While Cassavetes remains conscious of the disconnect between movie-inspired romantic ideals and real-life relationships, he gives an early-’70s New Hollywood spin to the screwball comedy here.


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