Saluting the ambitious retrospective of the films — and some of the television work — of John Cassavetes, the patron saint of American independent cinema. The events take place at Cinefamily, located in the old Silent Movie house on Fairfax Avenue, kicking off Thursday night.
Cinefamily christens the series, a bit nebulously, with this blistering Cassavetes quote:
“I don’t give a fuck what anybody says. If you don’t have time to see it, don’t. If you don’t like it, don’t. If it doesn’t give you an answer, fuck you. I didn’t make it for you anyway.” — John Cassavetes
Highly recommended: “Shadows” (1959) Cassavetes’s great groundbreaking film, screened in a gloriously restored 35mm print, courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The film’s preservation was funded by Film Foundation and Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I saw it recently and loved it.
On the sked: appearances by members of the Cassavetes repertory acting group, an elite crew: Lelia Goldoni, Ben Gazzara, Seymour Cassel, and Gena Rowlands.
Rowlands is legendary. The talented Goldoni, pitch perfect as “Shadows”‘s bohemian chick was a Lester Horton dancer before becoming an actress. See photo at right.
Here’s Rowlands at her powerful best with Joan Blondell, of all people, in a scene from “Opening Night.” Watch how this actress takes her time, lighting a cigarette, before dropping her line, “I accept my age.” Classic Rowlands … and classic Cassavetes.
photo: thank you, Bob Willoughby, for the beautiful dance photo