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Dramas > Shadows(1959) Cassavettes

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (jim_) Shadows (1959) by John Cassavettes.

This is my favorite Cassavettes film that I've seen. An Indie film shot in 16 mm, attempting to capture the feeling and the time of New York City. The film tries to capture the modern culture at the time. Self described as an UCLA improvisational film with Jazz, a slice of life of two brothers, and a sister of mixed race in the city. I would argue that it was heavily scripted and well done. The local jazz and music scene are in the background, museum, subways, and music houses. I see this film had three BAFTA nominations. I couldn't make out Charles Mingus, but saw his name for music in the credits. Also a few others like Seymour Cassell. Gena Rowlands--no surprise, I believe she was married or soon to marry Cassavettes at the time. I highly recommend this to Cassavette film fans.


message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10781 comments i like it a lot - it has the improvised feel that a lot of his early films have. mingus did indeed provide some music for the film. can't remember now if he's in there - i saw this about two years ago when i first got the box set. a woman under the influence is still my favorite.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jim_) Phillip, Did you see the Too Late Blues? Not available on Netflix. :( I noticed that Bobby Darin had a role as a extra--cameo in Shadows. For the longest time The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie was my favorite Cassavettes film, but now I'm not so keen on that film.


message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) John Cassavettes starred in Rosemary's Baby with Mia Farrow. Never saw the entire movie but heard it was creepy.


message 5: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10781 comments john cassavettes is a major american filmmaker - imo, anyway - one of the many independent directors that popped up in the late '50's and early 60's that tried to go in a radically different direction than the studio system. he brought on a lot of developments in form and style, and inspired a lot of filmmakers. his work as an actor is fairly insignificant compared to his work as a director.

jim - haven't seen too late blues. i'll look for it. the box set i have includes shadows - faces - a woman under the influence - killing of a chinese bookie - and opening night. a nice collection!


message 6: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments I found A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE interesting, but not so much luck with either KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE or SHADOWS. I've tried to watch both, but turned them both off after just a few minutes. I realize that's not enough time to get the feel of a film or make a valid judgment. I guess I'll have to make more of an effort the next time around. Or is it possible that I'm just not a Cassavettes fan?


message 7: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) could be the latter.


message 8: by Phillip (last edited Sep 22, 2010 10:32PM) (new)

Phillip | 10781 comments it's fine not to like him!

there are a lot of people out there, not unlike cassavettes, who have made important contributions to film, but that doesn't mean i like their work. i'm hit and miss with cassavettes, some of his films i like a lot, some really bore the schmeck out of me. i can dig what he was trying to do, and i'm glad he did it, but he doesn't always speak to me. a woman under the influence is really strong, imo. i think gena rowlands is brilliant in it - it doesn't even seem like acting - but it is, if you've seen her in other films you know how far she was stretching.


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jim_) Phillip wrote: "john cassavettes is a major american filmmaker - imo, anyway - one of the many independent directors that popped up in the late '50's and early 60's that tried to go in a radically different direct..."

Thanks. What kind of extras are in the Killing Of A Chinese Bookie?


message 10: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments Phillip wrote: "it's fine not to like him!

there are a lot of people out there, not unlike cassavettes, who have made important contributions to film, but that doesn't mean i like their work. i'm hit and miss wi..."


What I most remembered about Gena Rowlands' performance was that she reminded me so much of a rather unstable cousin of mine that it was scary! So I guess you could say that either Rowlands' performance was quite realistic, or my cousin is seriously messed up.


message 11: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Rowlands does do outstanding performances in whatever she does, she always does things in a dramatic way. She is one of my all time favorite actresses. Has she recd any awards?


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments She was nominated for Best Actress for GLORIA, but I can't recall if she won or not.


message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I saw her in Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock and she did an outstanding job. She plays likeable characters, wasn't she in the Notebook, anyway haven't seen her in grittier roles, I am sure she is just as good in those. Cindy your above comment is funny, about your cousin, my sympathy goes out to you.


message 14: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments The crazy thing is that I'm not kidding. My cousin talks 50 miles a minute, bounces back and forth between talking like an adult and speaking like a little child, is a compulsive liar and thief, and very immature, vindictive and spiteful. And she can't understand why nobody wants to be friends with her.


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Cindy, my heart goes out to you. I have a nephew that has some issues,too, and while it is irritating as all heck to deal with, I guess we have to be understanding to where they are coming from, or don't get involved in their drama. Usually people like that do not realize that they can't make friends. My other nephew used to stutter as a child because he had so much to say, that words just came rolling out willy-nilly. I hear you.


message 16: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Webalina) | 583 comments Thanks Robin. I appreciate the kind words. She's a handful alright. And what's bad is that she's 53 years old!

That's what I'm saying about Gena Rowlands. Her performance as Mabel was real. Mabel's specific condition wasn't mentioned in the film, but I'm betting that any mental health professional would diagnose her as bipolar, and Cassavettes or Rowlands HAD to have known someone like that to make it so accurate.


message 17: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) They probably did tons of research to get the character. Every one is dealing with something or other in their lives, isn't it nice to come and post and take our minds off things for a while. :)


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