The Miracle Of Love Streams
Both husband and wife were bound by a beautiful agitation and an outlier quality that compelled their work but on the surface could be perceived as cagey or “mysterious… even, perhaps especially,” Ventura notes, “to each other.” It’s no secret they had a “volatile” relationship. That’s how Rowlands described their marriage to People magazine in 1984, adding: “If you think a marriage isn’t going to be like that, you’ve got trouble.”
The couple’s simpatico, when they had it, was founded on one main principle: neither Cassavetes nor Rowlands believed that someone should be written off because he or she is seen as “crazy.” As she puts it in both Ventura’s book and the documentary, “I don’t think anyone is crazy who isn’t cruel. To me, cruelty is crazy.” That conviction was what kept John and Gena both together and in Hollywood’s margins. “John has a great affinity for characters that are perceived by the world as cuckoo, or whacko, or at least eccentric,” she says. “But we don’t see it that way… It’s just that [some people] have a different dream——a different thing that they wanted out of life. And they’re confused as to why it doesn’t happen, and how they found themselves in this position where they’re marching out of step to everyone else.”
On Love Streams for Adult Mag HERE
"In Sarah’s marriage we see only the divorce, beginning at the end with lawyers, papers, and her husband and daughter’s retreat. Her retreat in kind brings to mind Barbara Loden’s Wanda, if for no other reason than that both films are about women whose wants are on nobody’s radar, especially not their own. In each her way, Sarah and Wanda are accumulations of withdrawal, calm-seekers beset by a ceaseless whirring. We hear it in the sedate musicality of Sarah’s speech, or how she’ll wind up her words like a pitcher on the mound, saying “uhhhhh-lot!” instead of “a lot.” We see it in how perpetually Sarah finds herself on the floor (she falls, collapses, lays down languidly) or how crucially she clutches the receiver on a rotary phone. Has anyone ever held a phone the way Gena Rowlands holds a phone? Her hands: an elegant vise. Rowlands inhabits spaces so intensely that she alters their original context, transforming the kitchen, for instance, into a home’s doomed core.
As Sarah, she has more thinking faces than she has speaking faces: an arsenal of grimaces, a glassy vacant stare, a wariness that resides on her temple right where she places the palm of her hand when she’s considering her next move. Sometimes, she’ll furrow her brow and pucker her lips like an amateur gumshoe solving a mystery. When Sarah narrows her eyes, she means it.”
I wrote about Cassavetes’ LOVE STREAMS but also about love in general, about Gena and John, and what it means to be a woman on the brink.
"There’s no world in which I would surrender the intimidating beauty of Yoruba-language poetry for, say, Shakespeare’s sonnets, nor one in which I’d prefer the chamber orchestras of Brandenburg to the koras of Mali. I’m happy to own all of it. This carefree confidence is, in part, the gift of time. It is a dividend of the struggle of people from earlier generations. I feel no alienation in museums. But this question of filiation tormented Baldwin considerably. He was sensitive to what was great in world art, and sensitive to his own sense of exclusion from it. He made a similar list in the title essay of “Notes of a Native Son” (one begins to feel that lists like this had been flung at him during arguments): “In some subtle way, in a really profound way, I brought to Shakespeare, Bach, Rembrandt, to the Stones of Paris, to the Cathedral at Chartres, and the Empire State Building a special attitude. These were not really my creations, they did not contain my history; I might search them in vain forever for any reflection of myself. I was an interloper; this was not my heritage.” The lines throb with sadness. What he loves does not love him in return."
“I also like being alone. I really love it. But I need to be careful not to lose human contact. I seek that through seeing friends, one-on-one. This new apartment is conducive to that. My friend India came over and we coined this apartment the Deepest Self Club, a phrase that came from this essay I was reading by Anaïs Nin, who I love so much. She talks about “the deepest self.” I don’t know why those words are so important; they’re not that profound. Like yeah, your core. But I like to endow this space with that idea. So far it’s been nice having friends who enjoy being here. It’s in my personality to make people feel comfortable and safe and have them take up as much space as they want around me. It’s hard to find places in New York that are comfortable, so I like giving my friends a space they know they can come to. It’s been said a million times, but I do believe in a city like New York that having a room of one’s own is vital.”
“Undone” is the enemy of “not done”
“Over the years, the smear appeared on film whenever an actress, usually playing another actress, needed to look, well, actressy. In “Opening Night,” Gena Rowlands disintegrates under a fine black veil and applies her signature rose lip in slippery circles. In a similar, eerie still in “The Marriage of Maria Braun,” Hanna Schygulla’s lipstick is a blotto red mess that recalls Tallulah Bankhead in the ultra-shlocky “Die! Die! My Darling!” Halfway through the 1990s, Courtney Love’s permanent slip dress and sloppy moue — a cross between Crawford’s and a clown’s — was, and is again, widely imitated; I’m thinking of New York’s beauty/junkie queen, Cat Marnell, who applies her YSL Rouge #17 to look as if she has recently escaped a kidnapping. At Vivienne Westwood’s fall show, the models wore what the makeup artist Val Garland called “a Marilyn Monroe mucky lip, like she’s had a few drinks.” Call it “the new smear,” call it “the smudge.” The wearer is clear: She’s a woman undone, but on purpose.”