1029 Husbands

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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mfunk9786
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1029 Husbands

#76 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:22 pm


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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#77 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:52 pm

Nice touch with the Andrew Bujalski essay. When writing about film, I often find him to be supremely eloquent and funny on top of that. And that Dick Cavett interview is legendary. They spend two third of the show bullying Cavett and misbehaving, to eventually wind down and mellow out with real thoughts in the last third. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I believe Cassavetes (or maybe Gazzara) starts yelling about how society has disrespected Orson Welles and that always sticks in my mind.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#78 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:28 pm

I can't tell if that sounds obnoxious or excellent but I want to see it. This has never been one of my favorite Cassavetes but it's better than its naysayers give it credit for. Minnie and Moskowitz is the one in need of rescuing though, and the last great one begging for a decent release.

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Re: 1029 Husbands

#79 Post by Billy Beta » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:40 pm

It's a massive failure that they haven't tried to get the making of to put on this. It's incredible. It really shows him
and Gazzara and Falk and their process. I know it's probably tied up with the BBC licensing nightmare situation, but still.

It would be cracking extra.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#80 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:43 pm

That sounds worth the price of the release alone, I’ll try to track it down- thanks for the info

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Re: 1029 Husbands

#81 Post by paa400 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:42 am

I have a bootleg copy of that BBC show. It's wonderful if your a fan of Husbands.

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Faux Hulot
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#82 Post by Faux Hulot » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:18 pm

The BBC doc is essential, featuring rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage as well as material that didn't make the final cut. A damned tragedy that it isn't included but you can watch it in full here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjlKVjRrk0Q

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Fred Holywell
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#83 Post by Fred Holywell » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:22 pm


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FrauBlucher
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#84 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue May 05, 2020 9:22 am


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tenia
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#85 Post by tenia » Tue May 05, 2020 10:51 am

The consistency of Pixelogic's crap LEGO compression on any Criterion sourced from a new 4k restoration is astonishing.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#86 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:45 pm

Rewatching this, I couldn't stop thinking about how much Cassavetes haters will hate this film, even if its (perhaps unintended) thesis is completely in their camp. The film isn’t easy, even for fans, in fact it’s excruciating by design- though there’s something audacious about the stance everyone takes in sucking all the interest out of the characters in depicting their raw ennui. Nobody is likeable or knowable, and while other Cassavetes films prompt the audience to align subtly with their ‘authentic’ desperation, flaws and all, this one doesn’t. It’s a film about people in acute plights shot from the vantage point of a stranger. This is what we look like when we try to initiate change in our lives in the throes of existential crises. The presentation is de-romanticized to the bone, a statement about the futile attempts for human beings to escape on an adventure -whether in cinema or prompted by the romanticism of fantastical narratives- that’s reflected to be just as banal as their suburban lives. I wouldn’t fault anyone for disliking this one- I can’t even say I like it and I am generally a defender of the director- but I respect the decision from Cassavetes to essentially make a film as an answer negating the rest of his work- by taking the position with his camera to provide honest distance, and proposing that the world doesn’t care about his characters in real life; and that their pathetic, ordinary lives may not be worth aligning with after all.

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knives
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#87 Post by knives » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:49 pm

I actually find it quite pleasant and along with Chinese Bookie the film of his I most easily come back to.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#88 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:51 pm

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is my favorite, and while I wouldn't use the word "pleasant" to describe his work, I find them both affirming for different reasons.

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quequeg
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#89 Post by quequeg » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:41 pm

Being a male of the baby boomer generation, I never really understood the concept of "toxic masculinity". After seeing this film I finally understand.
Though I usually like Cassavetes' films, I strongly disliked this one the first time through. I liked it better while watching with the commentary. It was excellent and very informative. It brought out what Cassavettes was trying to achieve--including the fact that he was trying not to make a film that the audience would enjoy watching. I have to wonder how women, especially feminists, react to this film. Most probably could not bear to sit through it.


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Pavel
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#91 Post by Pavel » Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:37 am

I just saw it for the first time, and was immediately reminded of The Comedy — both are films about a group of male friends' rampage of assholery. I was initially mixed on that film, but it grew on me significantly, and I suppose that could happen with Husbands, too. I doubt it, though, because I can more accurately pinpoint what doesn't entirely work for me here. I think the first 40 minutes or so are astonishing; the singing contest scene in particular is truly awe-inspiring — perhaps the most potent blend of humor, embarrassment and gut-churning hostility I've seen. I rarely feel simultaneously this uncomfortable and fascinated watching something, almost feeling guilty for enjoying it. That scene got an audible "holy shit!" from me. My problem is that — the scene with Gazzara's wife notwithstanding — the film get considerably tamer and it completely loses me when the guys go to England. None of their awkward encounters there achieve a fraction of the same effect, and by the end I feel as if it's shifted gears into a different, and to my mind significantly less powerful picture.

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Re: 1029 Husbands

#92 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:22 am

Even though I find the singing contest scene excruciating to the senses, I don’t think you’re wrong at all in your assessment, though I believe that’s the point of the movie (which doesn’t mean we have to like it!) Much like ‘real life’ (the holy grail Cassavetes chases, and often finds fragments of, in his filmography) the initial break from the confines of nuclear family life allows the husbands relief from their roles, but as the party drags on that glamorization falls significantly more and more short from the needle of expectations. I’ve been thinking about the title a lot lately, and how in the second half of the film these men are trying to swim against the current of their blended identities of responsibility, not just to their wives but societal expectations and their own comfort levels with predictability. The fantasy of the specific kind of freedom they’re chasing becomes recognized as the illusion that it is, and I find those scenes to be similarly empty because- in opposition to a wild, crazy, disinhibited drunken night antics of an acute release- the static continuation of such alleviation, in an attempt to sustain its high, is futile.

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Pavel
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Re: 1029 Husbands

#93 Post by Pavel » Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:20 pm

I think you are very much correct, and I suppose this type of deglamorization showcasing the emptiness and mundanity of a particular character or lifestyle or what have you just doesn't immediately translate into greatness for me, which may likely be because I have more superficially-oriented preferences (similarly, despite being incredibly different films with different goals, I'm no fan of Bela Tarr or Haneke's The Seventh Continent, and have likewise put off seeing Jeanne Dielman). Another thing that fascinated me about the first hour was the three men's unique, almost depraved bromance; they each confess to loving time with one another more than even sex with their own wives (they disappear almost without notice from the lives of their wives and children to satisfy an urge for some vague idea of freedom). Yet, to witness any individual scene of this film, you'd think these men hate each other. What defines their love is not affection, or even sympathy, but each man's ability to understand the seemingly unpredictable emotional rhythms of the others. And by turning the focus to their... "relationships" (terrible wording) with the women they meet in England, the film loses another one of its most interesting aspects. I am more positive than not (say, 6/10?), but still expected more.

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Re: 1029 Husbands

#94 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:48 pm

Yeah I think that's one of the greatest themes of the movie, that expectations and ideals don't match reality. Their confessed love for one another is as true as they make it, but it's a classic "the grass is always greener" phenomenon. The men covet the bromance because it's an escape from the banal lives with their wives, yet when they have the opportunities to forge new relationships with women, that takes precedence over their camaraderie. That's not to say that there isn't any genuineness in their declarations of love for each other, but that the specific comparative romanticism comes as an emotional response to their friend dying. The existential crisis is born not to chase something in particular but to disbar from their current trappings, so any signal of selfish freedom that exists outside the vacuum of their day-to-day lives is a tangible marker of what must be 'better.' Cassavetes and the other men slowly sober each other up to the truth that they were chasing empty air toward the end, and while the experiences of going through stages together is meaningful, the meat of those experiences - similar to the initial prompt to run away- if often valuable for what they were not, rather than what they were. The meaning comes from providing a mirror to reflect the disappointment and futility from achieving a fantasy, instead forcing an acceptance and movement towards a shred of gratitude for the reality they actually live in.

I'm with you that this film is hardly 'enjoyable' for me, and it's much more interesting to view as an admission from Cassavetes about the worth of his characters via a candid observation, as I said in my initial writeup. Definitely a movie that is a lot more fun to analyze than watch.

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