Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Love Hurts 

Wednesday, Dec 16 1998
It's surprising, and a little dispiriting, that John Cassavetes' last film, Love Streams (1984), looks more like a true independent feature than most of what passes for such today. Cassavetes was an authentic innovator. From his mostly improvised first feature, Shadows (1960), through a string of wrenching dramas about male-female relationships (many starring his wife, Gena Rowlands) to this final, rarely screened masterpiece, Cassavetes presented a gallery of flawed and unforgettable characters.

In Love Streams the director himself plays perhaps the most flawed of the lot as Robert Harmon, a boozy novelist who terrorizes ex-wives and ex-girlfriends and gets his 9-year-old son drunk before abandoning him. Adding some balance to this grim portrait is the only person he seems to care about, his sister. Sarah, played by a luminous Gena Rowlands, is a vibrant middle-aged woman in the midst of an unwanted divorce, whose desperate need for love drives her and everyone around her crazy. Cassavetes claimed he was "more interested in the people who work with me than in the film itself or in cinema" -- but in finding the humanity and even humor in his damaged characters, as he does in Love Streams, he transforms all three. Love Streams screens Friday at 8 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 978-ARTS.

-- Gary Morris

About The Author

Gary Morris


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"