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John Cassavetes: To Risk Everything to Express It All

01 Jan 1996
53 min
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It’s tempting, when praising Cassavetes’s films, to resort to generalizations about the director’s admirable intentions; descriptions like “original,” “raw,” and “human,” while certainly true, need to be expanded upon in order to get at what makes Cassavetes’s work special, and the film’s interview subjects sometimes fall into the trap of leaving things at the level of simplification. But for those new to the director’s films, there’s still some good material here: the commentary from Cassavetes mainstays Ben Gazzara, Gena Rowlands, Al Ruban, Seymour Cassel, and (especially) Peter Falk is predictably engaging, and the selected footage from formative early works like Shadows and Faces is revealing of a filmmaker in the process of discovering his voice.

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