Episode 65: John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence  (1974)

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In this episode, I explore Gena Rowlands’s raw and uncompromising performance as Mabel Longhetti in John Cassavetes’s 1974 film, “A Woman Under the Influence.” Mabel is a woman struggling with mental illness and coming apart in the midst of family turmoil. I talk about why Cassavetes’s work was so groundbreaking and provide details about his and Rowlands’s relationship. The heart of the episode is my in-depth analysis of Rowlands’s acting in the film and why I think she gives one of the greatest performances of all time. I also talk about my recent move, my own struggle with mental illness, the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, and I expand on my previous ideas about a Cinema of the Unruly Woman.

Full show notes:

Listen to Episodes Mentioned:

More about the HBO documentary, A Dangerous Son

John Cassavetes Interviews and Research:

Gena Rowlands Interviews:


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