Shadows ★★★

Didn’t watch this today, but I watched it last year. I’m reading Cassavetes on Cassavetes right now, and there are so many interesting tidbits from the man himself in regards to this film’s legacy.

For one, he openly admits to severely overplaying the improvisational aspect for the sake of press. The story is actually very structured and scripted, and Cassavetes would demand Stanley Kubrick-amounts of takes if he didn’t like something (one unused love scene with Lelia Goldoni was shot until her lips bled). Cassavetes resented takes on the film that had to do with race or sociology. He saw race as being more of an imaginative stance than a concrete one, and the "passing" element of the film regarding being untrue to oneself. The biography also speaks to the oft-repeated myth that this is the birth of American Independent Film—Little Fugitive predates it, and so does Shirley Clarke, who lent equipment to the production early on. However, it’s influence does substantiate that claim to a large degree, and I find that to be just as interesting.

Anecdotes include Charles Mingus’ cats shitting all over his apartment floor, deaf-mute lip readers helping with dubbing, and the absolutely manic drive that went into shooting 60,000 ft. of footage—then burning some of it in a bonfire, and reshooting it again. Really this is all me trying to sell you on another book, but this is definitely a book you should look into if you haven’t already! So many interesting ideas about acting and life.

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