Closing Night Retro
DIRECTED BY JOHN CASSAVETES
USA, 1970, 138 MIN, RATED PG-13
In recent months we have seen the passing of two acting giants of their generation, Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara. Both of these men had long and illustrious careers in film and television that spanned decades, but the films they did with legendary indie film pioneer John Cassavetes in the 1970s stand out as some of their greatest and most critically acclaimed work. So what better way for the Florida Film Festival to pay tribute than for our Closing Night Retro selection to be a rare, 35mm screening of the only film that the three of them ever starred in together—HUSBANDS. Gazzara, Falk, and Cassavetes play three friends who embark on a cleansing weekend of the soul after the surprising coronary death of a friend and contemporary. On a whim these middle-aged New Yorkers decide to leave their ordinary lives and families and flee to London on a bender of booze, sex, gambling, and debauchery. A beautifully observed, largely improvised, and outrageously unsentimental study of male camaraderie, HUSBANDS explores the desires, loves, and losses of a generation constantly running away from their lives through three men who actually do it. It doesn’t get much more independent that that.