The Study of Love: Three Films by John Cassavetes

“I have a one track mind,” said pioneering independent filmmaker John Cassavetes when asked about the themes of his films. “All I’m interested in is love.” A powerful actor most well-known for the intensity of his performance opposite Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, Cassavetes went on to become one of the most dynamic and original filmmakers in the history of American movies. At the time, Cassavetes was unique not only in his directing style, which featured an unprecedented focus on spontaneity and truth within an actor’s performance, but also in how many of the films were independently produced and distributed by the filmmakers without any direct involvement from major studios — often this meant taking out a 2nd mortgage on Cassavetes’ Los Angeles home to finance the film, editing the film in his garage, and then physically calling movie theatres and film festivals across the US and Europe one-by-one until someone would agree to play the thing.

His obsession with capturing the complexity of relationships between people on film was fuelled by his marriage to actor Gena Rowlands, with whom he collaborated on 6 of his 12 films as director; these collaborations yielded some of the most daring and original performances ever captured on film, perhaps best exemplified by Rowlands’ creation of Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under The Influence. The impact of Cassavetes’ maniacal devotion to genuine human expression through cinema, a medium too often controlled by commercial entertainment interests, resonates throughout the contemporary filmmaking landscape. Metro Cinema is proud to present Faces, A Woman Under The Influence, and Opening Night, all newly available in DCP.

Curated by Dylan Rhys Howard.