Friday, February 20, 2009

John Cassavetes

A few nights ago, I was introduced to the wild world of John Cassavetes. An American filmmaker from the late 50's, Cassavetes was the pioneer of independent film. He was the Jack Kerouac of film. He was the Beat director. I was in love.

We watched Shadows, his directorial debut. Shadows is about New York City in the 50's, from jazz to dating to bar fights. Here is a clip:

All the music is either jazz legend Charles Mingus or saxophonist Shafi Hadi. The film is more real than anything I've seen from this era. The relationships aren't overdramatic. The characters are believable. It doesn't hold back.

At the end of the film, a message appears on the screen:

"The film you have just seen was an improvisation."

I think that says enough. Great film, great acting, great music. I can't wait to get my hands on more of his stuff. Go check him out.

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