Sunday, December 19, 2010

Film 101: John Cassavettes

Paraphrasing my last post I said, “TRUE independent cinema began in the USA as a result of the influence of Italian neo-realism.” So, who was the pioneer of indie cinema in the USA? There were a couple of notable individuals working with experimental and avant-garde film in the 50s, but I think the most important was New York born filmmaker and actor, John Cassavettes. His first narrative feature film Shadows (1957), explored interracial relationships in Beat Era New York City thirty-four years before Spike’s Jungle Fever. Although SHADOWS was shot hand-held, on location and improvised by actors outside of the studio system, Hollywood had to take note of the young, influential, ‘indie’ pioneer—and so should you. I’ll be back with more of JC’s work after the holiday…Peace.

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