holding up a mirror to our worst fears and most ecstatic pleasures Miss Rowlands has been a force to be reckoned with.That night she was cool and witty, endearing and humble, every bit the Grande Dame, every bit the decadent girl who once winked at you wistfully from across the bar.
Another of Gena’s accomplishment is one of the most formidable and productive spousal relationship in the book. Sure it didn’t hurt being married to dashing John Cassavetes, symbol of what Vimont calls the American Counter Cultural Independent Movement. But 10 films with your husband, snatching a couple of Academy Award Noms working with him and still keep the Honeymoon alive without throwing frying pans at each other? This is perhaps a testimony to Miss Rowlands talent as a human. These things don’t just happen. The ambassador concludes “you have a talent for life, for beauty, and indeed a joie-de-vivre expressed in your oft-celebrated sense of humor.”
How else would she know about the complex position of women in American society, about harrowing despair and intense compassion, about the brutal and paradoxical meanderings of the human heart? Life just pounds faster inside Gena Rowlands veins. As if she perfected her being in such a way that allowed for more substance to be infused in it than ordinary people. More light and more darkness. More love and more fear. More pain and more sorrow, more flaws and more wit, more passion and more joy. This is what we continentals call a talent for life, a talent for beauty.
When asked about how she has coped with her beloved husband’s passing, Gena responded: “You just can’t complain about being alive. It’s self-indulgent to be unhappy.”
From the meaningful haven that Gena’s journeys have created for her somewhere over the rainbow, Miss Rowlands smiles upon our tortuous little lives and shines a little beacon of light towards our ever-guilty merriment. “Do try and enjoy yourselves. And thank you for a wonderful evening.”
The cold winter curtain falls upon us and there is little more to do than to scurry home, manipulate those new systems and devices we rely on for instant entertainment, and watch more Gena, melt in the greatness of her humanity.