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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/cassavetes.htm
USA 19
84

 

The electric filmmaking genius John Cassavetes and his brilliant wife and collaborator Gena Rowlands give luminous, fragile performances as two closely bound, emotionally wounded souls who reunite after years apart. Exhilarating and risky, mixing sober realism with surreal flourishes, Love Streams is a remarkable film that comes at the viewer in a torrent of beautiful, erratic feeling. This inquiry into the nature of love in all its forms was Cassavetes’s last truly personal work.

***

John Cassavettes' study of middle-aged angst focuses on Sarah Lawson (Rowlands), a troubled woman who moves in with her alcoholic, philandering brother Robert Harmon (Cassavettes), following the break-up of her marriage. Their relationship proves to be feisty, the brother keen to cling on to his ways, the sister bogged down by the fall-out with her husband.

And that is pretty much that in terms of plot but Cassavettes' usual knack of drawing out emotive, naturalistic performances from his cast gives it all a riveting, sometimes explosive, edge.

Excerpt of Channel 4's capsule located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1984 - Berlin Film Festival

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Comparison:

Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Can also be purchased individually:

  

 

Distribution Cinemalta - Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 721

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:15:00 (4% PAL Speedup) 2:21:15.800 
Video 1.62:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.99 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,497,702,344 bytes

Feature: 28,972,290,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles French ( player generated - non -removable on most systems) English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Cinemalta

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.62:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: Extract from "I am Almost Not Crazy" by Michael Ventura (English dialogue with burned-in French subtitles and French narration) - 7:25
• Featurette: Analysis oif a Scene by Samuel Labarthe (English dialogue with burned-in French subtitles) - 10:43
• Static image slideshow (5:37)
• 24-page thick booklet with essay, interview (French only) and photos

DVD Release Date: November 29th, 2004

4-tiered digipak case
Chapters: 17

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,497,702,344 bytes

Feature: 28,972,290,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• New audio commentary featuring writer Michael Ventura
• New video essay on actor Gena Rowlands by film critic Sheila O’Malley (24:17)
• New interviews with executive producer and director of photography Al Ruban (18:17) and actor Diahnne Abbott (12:45)
• Interview from 2008 with actor Seymour Cassel (11:46)
• “I’m Almost Not Crazy . . .”—John Cassavetes: The Man and His Work (1984), a sixty-minute documentary by Ventura on the making of Love Streams (56:08)
• Trailer (3:10)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Dennis Lim and a 1984 New York Times piece on the film by Cassavetes

2 DVDs

Blu-ray Release Date: August 12th, 2014
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 24

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (August 14'): The French DVD was transferred at around 1.62:1 and this Criterion Blu-ray is 1.85:1 showing more information on the side edges but losing some off the top. It improves in every visual area over the SD utilizing a new 2K digital restoration. Colors appear fuller and richer, skin tones look more natural and there is a sense of depth exported not present on the flat DVD. Grain textures are visible and I felt my viewing was like seeing the film for the first time with the improved 1080P resolution.

 

Predictably, Criterion stay authentic using a linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It has a vérité scattering to it present in the original production and the score by Bo Harwood (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, A Woman Under the Influence and Opening Night) has a depth and richness supporting the film beautifully via the lossless. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Criterion offer a new, 2014, audio commentary featuring writer Michael Ventura, author of Cassavetes Directs. It is filled with interesting facts about the director and Love Streams. There is also an excellent new video essay, produced by Criterion, on actor Gena Rowlands by film critic Sheila O’Malley running almost 25-minutes. It is entitled Watching Gena Rowlands - her acting career spans seven decades of television and film, and she has collaborated with such directors as Woody Allen, Jim Jarmusch, and Mira Nair. But it is her work with her late husband, John Cassavetes, that best showcases her virtuosic dramatic and comedic talents. This essay explores Rowland's performances in Cassavetes films with plenty of clips. A significant addition to the supplements is the 56-minute documentary “I’m Almost Not Crazy . . .”—John Cassavetes: The Man and His Work made in 1984 on the making of Love Streams. During production of Love Streams, writer Michael Ventura was hired by Cannon Films executive Menahem Golan to make a promotional documentary for the company's first John Cassavetes film, featuring interviews with Cassavetes, Golan, actors Rowlands and Seymour Cassel, co-writer ted Allan, composer Bo Harwood and other members of the cast and crew. There are also new, 2014, interviews with executive producer and director of photography Al Ruban, who collaborated with Cassavetes on eight of his films. This interviews runs almost 20-minutes. There is another with actor Diahnne Abbott for over 12-minutes recalling her work with the director on both the original stage production and the film of Love Streams. There is also an 11-minute excerpt from a 2008, Midnight Sun Film Festicval (in Finland) with Seymour Cassel. Lastly we have a trailer, 2 DVDs containing the feature and all the supplements of the Blu-ray plus a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic Dennis Lim and a 1984 New York Times piece on the film by Cassavetes.

 

This is one of the top releases of the year - with, some of the most complete extras. This is an easy must-own - for Rowlands performance alone - if not the stellar package. Our highest recommendation!

***

 

ON THE DVD: This can be purchased in the Boxset with Cassavetes "A Child is Waiting" or individually. Both have player generated French subtitles that are not forced on many standard players (my computer DVD player for example) or are easily removed.

This anamorphic image is quite good - sharp for the most part, close to the 1.66 original aspect ratio, bright, a little heavy, nice menus and some extras of note (in English). I wish the beautiful booklet included was also in English.

As this is only a few extra Euros to be purchased as the two-disc set we recommend buying that way as  Cassavetes "A Child is Waiting"  is not sold separately (or presently in Region 1).

Gary W. Tooze

 





Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL Menus


 

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cinemalta (2-disc set with A Child is Waiting) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Box Covers

Can also be purchased individually:

  

 

Distribution Cinemalta - Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 721

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray





 

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