I’m Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes - The Man and His Work directed by one of the finest writers on the planet Michael Ventura was shot during the making of Cassavetes’ final personal film Love Streams in 1984. One of Cassavetes’ best and most underappreciated films (so what the fuck else is new?), Love Streams is inexplicably and appallingly unavailable on DVD in the USA.
I think Ventura’s extraordinary gifts as a writer provided him with the necessary insight on the creative process and a kindred spirit’s respect for Cassavetes’ incisive skill with the spoken word and empathy for the ways human beings try to find a language for the inexpressible that makes this documentary connect on a visceral level.
Cassavetes’ obsession to get at the “heart of the matter,” to find the essential truth that animates our being, to cut through the bullshit, is as spiritual a journey as any in the history of film. As a young man pounding my fists against the walls of my own masculinity, I found Cassavetes films liberating. Beneath the machismo and testosterone-fueled angst of his male protagonists, there exists a tenderness, vulnerability and uncertainty that belies the inherited social concepts of masculinity. Cassavetes’ men are tough guys clawing at their macho veneer like caged animals desperate to find that one exist point where they can burst free.
Cassavetes died on this day in 1989 and we present this very special documentary in honor of one of America’s pioneers of indy cinema and an artist of profound depth.
And there is no honoring Cassavetes, without giving equal honor to the phenomenal Gena Rowlands. Has there been a more dynamic collaboration between husband and wife in cinema? And that is not a rhetorical question. Let me know what you think.