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TEMPEST

title: TEMPEST
year: 1981
cast: John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Molly Ringwald, Susan Sarandon, Raul Julia, Paul Stewart, Sam Robards
rating: ***1/2

“Show me,” says John Cassavete’s intensely desperate character each time a tempest brews: once in New York, where he’s married to Gena Rowlands; the next on a tiny Greek island he lords over with frustrated daughter Molly Ringwald, sexy girlfriend Susan Sarandon, and horny goat herder Raul Julia. The best aspects of this unique dark comedy are how the time-frames are edited together, beginning with Cassavetes on his island; then going back in time to New York where he, as a frustrated Architect, desperately needs a getaway: creatively sustaining past and present till the mainline story connects. The direction by Paul Mazursky can be self absorbed, but in a film centering on a control freak's drive for personal freedom, it all fits. And one particular scene, as an angry Cassavetes storms after Raul Julia for making a pass at his daughter… cutting to a montage of both characters initially bonding… is, like much of the film, a sublime marriage of editor and director.
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