12 April 2006 | ewillhark
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.