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Cassavetes on Cassavetes (Directors on Directors)

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  346 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Since his death in 1989, John Cassavettes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero--a renegade loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning thirty years. Having already established himself as an actor, he struck out as a filmmaker in 1959 with Shadows, and proceeded to build a formidable body of work, including su
Paperback, 542 pages
Published August 15th 2001 by Faber & Faber
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Sycophantism in extremis.

Ray Carney's idea of what art is is so dogmatic and limiting it beggars description.

But before I bash, I have to say his writings have made me think and re-think the nature of art, why it is done and when it is "genuine" as opposed to, say, crass or mere hobby craftmanship or manufactured goods.

Carney's a real pitbull, he takes no prisoners, and his slams at fellow critics are delicious. He's a master at pointing out their inconsistencies, ferreting out claims that seem
Jared Busch
Mar 23, 2007 Jared Busch rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves film and Cassavetes
Probably the most fascinating and exhaustively in-depth book on one filmmaker I've ever read. Carney has pretty much devoted his life to studying Cassavetes and telling the true story of his life, much to the chagrin of his wife, Gena Rowlands, who has stopped every great thing Carney has tried to do to preserve his legacy, including releasing early cuts of Shadows and Faces. This book moves from Carney's biographical narration to long passages of Cassavetes' own words. I think this monster is a ...more
Nov 20, 2007 Madelyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: hillhouse
This is actually "Carney on Cassavetes." It's interesting, but not helpful to anyone with a serious interest in John Cassavetes' films.
Ana Maria
I think this was delicious.
Oct 21, 2008 Baiocco rated it it was amazing
Can The Clash be any more boring? I mean, God Damn! Should I Stay Or Should I Go? I don't care. Go!...get the fuck out of here! Radio stations and old punks should really get over this shit. When I hear the opening to London Calling I wish someone would swerve in front of my car and knock me off the THAT, would be exciting. What was the tagline that went with the Clash? There was the Clash and then there was everyone else? or was it The Clash: The Only Band That Mattered? Either way, ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
Great book about the maddeningly quirky, often brilliant filmmaker-actor John Cassavetes. Ray Carney follows JC's life and career, largely in his own words, from his early days in TV's so-called Golden Age through the pioneering, now-classic SHADOWS, his conflict-filled time with Roman Polanski on ROSEMARY'S BABY, through uncompromising, uneven films such as FACES and HUSBANDS to the end with the disappointing (in my opinion, not Carney's) LOVE STREAMS. At one point the book suggests that Cassav ...more
Rob Young
Sep 29, 2015 Rob Young rated it it was amazing
Great biography/autobiography that explains Cassavetes' process. Lovingly compiled from interviews by Cassavetes and the people closest to him. Fantastic book all around!
Sep 17, 2011 Anhelo rated it it was amazing
I can't really put into words how much I enjoyed reading this book. I read it as I watched the films, one by one. I am definitely keeping this book for future reading and consulting. I am not the biggest fan of J.C. but I definitely appreciate his work on film way more than I did when I watched his movies without having a clue about his creative process.
Nov 18, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it
fantastic! this book captures, in cassavetes' own words, how an ever passionate and one-of-a-kind director, actor, father, and husband can single-handedly bring to screen the reality of the human experience. his story gave me a new found appreciation for independent cinema and showcased the ability of one truly independent artist.
Marlo Bernier
Jan 31, 2008 Marlo Bernier rated it it was amazing
It would be an injustice for me to "review" this book with any kind of convention, but I will suffice to say that this book is a must read for filmmakers, actors or "goers". This book gives more than a cursory glimpse into the man and the myth; it's an entire immersion.
Jack Gattanella
Jun 19, 2014 Jack Gattanella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
One of the best and most inspiring how-to-make-a-movie books I'll ever read. I may not love all of his films, but he is one-of-a-kind and his spirit helped me make my first film.
Dec 01, 2007 Cole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: headlong rushers
the things that woody guthrie couldn't teach me.
Dec 02, 2008 brandon rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves film
Shelves: my-cannon
Cassavetes talking Cassavetes. Amazing.
bobherzog zog
Mar 28, 2008 bobherzog zog rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: film people. Cassavetes fans.
Only for fans and film buffs.
Louis Pz
Aug 31, 2007 Louis Pz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Artisit
Shelves: favorites
Inspiring, Life Changing
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John Nicholas Cassavetes was an American actor, screenwriter, and director. He is considered a pioneer of American independent film.
More about John Cassavetes...

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“Film is, to me, just unimportant. But people are very important.” 10 likes
“These days, everybody is supposed to be so intelligent: ‘Isn’t it terrible about Nixon getting elected?’ ‘Did you hear about the earthquake in Peru?’ And you’re supposed to have all the answers. But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, like, ‘What is bugging you, mister? Why can’t you make it with your wife? Why do you lie awake all night staring at the ceiling? Why, why, why do you refuse to recognize you have problems and deal with them?’
The answer is that people have forgotten how to relate or respond. In this day of mass communications and instant communications, there is no communication between people. Instead it’s long-winded stories or hostile bits, or laughter. But nobody’s really laughing. It’s more an hysterical, joyless kind of sound.
Translation: ‘I am here and I don’t know why.”
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