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Cassavetes on Cassavetes

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Cassavetes on Cassavetes Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Since his death in 1989, John Cassavettes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero--a renegade loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning thirty years. Having already established himself as an actor, he struck out as a filmmaker in 1959 with Shadows, and proceeded to build a formidable body of work, including such classics as Faces, Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Gloria. In Cassavettes on Cassavettes, Ray Carney presents the great director in his own words--frank, uncompromising, humane, and passionate about life and art.

Ray Carney is Professor of Film and American Studies and Chairman of the Film Studies Program at Boston University. He is the author of over ten books, including the critically acclaimed The Films of John Cassavetes.

Since his death in 1989, John Cassavettes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic heroa renegade loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning thirty years. Having already established himself as an actor, he struck out as a filmmaker in 1959 with Shadows, and proceeded to build a formidable body of work, including such classics as Faces, Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Gloria. In Cassavettes on Cassavettes, Ray Carney presents the great director in his own wordsfrank, uncompromising, humane, and passionate about life and art.

"[Cassavetes on Cassavetes] is a labor of love, scholarship, and detective work. From a chaotic mountain of primary and secondary sources, Ray Carney has shaped the story of John Cassavetes' life and work-using the words of the great director himself, and also calling on his colleagues and friends to supply their memories and revelations. 'This is the autobiography he never lived to write,' Carney says, but it is more: Not only the life story, but history, criticism, homage, lore. Like a Cassavetes film, it bursts with life and humor, and then reveals fundamental truths."Roger Ebert

"[Cassavetes on Cassavetes] is a labor of love, scholarship, and detective work. From a chaotic mountain of primary and secondary sources, Ray Carney has shaped the story of John Cassavetes' life and work-using the words of the great director himself, and also calling on his colleagues and friends to supply their memories and revelations. 'This is the autobiography he never lived to write,' Carney says, but it is more: Not only the life story, but history, criticism, homage, lore. Like a Cassavetes film, it bursts with life and humor, and then reveals fundamental truths."Roger Ebert

"Thank God for Ray Carney's Cassavetes on Cassavetes. It captures the man I knew--the most vivid, colorful, intriguing, infuriating, fertile, man, child, artist, actor, friend. It's all there. The passion, the craziness, the complexity, the mystery. There'll never be another like him. It's a terrific book."Peter Falk, star of Cassavetes' Husbands and A Woman Under the Influence

"What a great gift you've given to young filmmakers everywhere. Your book, Cassavetes on Cassavetes, made me miss him even more. I didn't think it possible."Ben Gazzara, star of Cassavetes' Husbands and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

"I got my hands on a proof copy of your book on Friday, and have been poring over it all weekend. What can I say? I'm staggered by the depth and detail of your research. The book is a tremendous achievement. It absolutely justifies your comment in the Introduction, that even a Cassavetes buff will find something new and surprising, probably on every page. I think you do him justice. I can't offer higher praise than that."Tom Charity, author of John Cassavetes: Lifeworks

"Film historian Carney explores the cinematic philosophy and practices of maverick actor and director John Cassavetes (1929-89). Carney did a prodigious amount of research to prepare this thorough, admiring, and even affectionate examination of Cassavetes's films. He interviewed Cassavetes many times, spoke with virtually everyone who had ever worked with him, viewed every inch of relevant footage he could acquire, studied every interview ever granted by the loquacious filmmaker, and read the multiple versions of Cassavetes's screenplays. A compulsive reviser, Cassavetes does not deserve, in the author's view, his reputation as a director of improvised productions. Instead, he was a ferocious, tireless worker, a man who would do just about anything to complete a film (or find a booking for it), a director who would manipulate cast and crew to achieve an effect he felt he could achieve no other way. Carney is less interested in the ordinary biographical facts of Cassavetes's life than he is in his artistic temperament and credo, and so the births of his children and other milepost moments do not rate much attention. An exception is his tempestuous relationship with his wife, actress Gena Rowlands, who earned an Academy Award nomination in what is probably Cassavetes's best-known film, A Woman Under the Influence. In most cases, Carney devotes an entire chapter to each film, beginning with Shadows (screened in 1958) and ending with Love-Streams (1984). The author's technique is to let Cassavetes speak for himself whenever possible, so the text is largely an anthology of the filmmaker's published and previously unpublished comments on his lifeand work, intercut with Carney's transitions, explanations, and revisions. (In interviews, as Carney shows repeatedly, Cassavetes often considered the truth a boring companion who ought to remain silent.) . . . Fascinating footage of the mind and heart of an American original."Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt from Cassavetes on Cassavetes: Introduction: A Life in Art

This is the autobiography John Cassavetes never lived to write. In his own words Cassavetes tells the story of his life as he lived it, day by day, year by year. He begins with his family and childhood experiences, talks about being a high-school student, college dropout and drama-school student. He describes the years he spent pounding the pavement in New York as a young, unemployed actor unable to get a jobor even an agent. Then he takes us behind the scenes to let us sit in on the planning, rehearsing, shooting and editing of each of his filmsfrom Shadows, Faces, and Husbands, to Minnie and Moskowitz, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night, Gloria, and Love Streams. He describes the struggle to get them made, and the even greater battle to get many of them into movie theaters. He talks about the reaction of audiences and reviewers to his work, and responds to criticisms of it.

The tale is a personal, passionate one: of dreams, struggles, triumphs, setbacks and frustrations; of hair-raising financial gambles, crazy artistic risk-taking and midnight visions of glory. But it is also the story of an artistic movement that extended beyond Cassavetes and defined an era in film history. Between the lines, as it were, these pages chronicle the history of one of the most important artistic movements of the past fifty yearsthe birth and development of American independent filmmaking, and the response to it by critics and reviewers.

Cassavetes pioneered a new conception of what film can be

Synopsis:

Since his death in 1989, John Cassavetes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero - a maverick loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning 30 years. Carney's book presents Cassavetes through his own words - passionate about life and art.

Synopsis:

Since his death in 1989, John Cassavettes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero--a renegade loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning thirty years. Having already established himself as an actor, he struck out as a filmmaker in 1959 with Shadows, and proceeded to build a formidable body of work, including such classics as Faces, Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Gloria. In Cassavettes on Cassavettes, Ray Carney presents the great director in his own words--frank, uncompromising, humane, and passionate about life and art.

About the Author

Ray Carney is Professor of Film and American Studies and Chairman of the Film Studies Program at Boston University. He is the author of over ten books, including the critically acclaimed The Films of John Cassavetes.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780571201570
Author:
Carney, Ray
Publisher:
Faber & Faber
Editor:
Carney, Ray
Author:
Carney, Ray
Author:
Cassavetes, John
Location:
London
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Film - Direction & Production
Subject:
Motion pictures
Subject:
Motion picture producers and directors
Subject:
Adult
Subject:
Film & Video - Direction & Production
Subject:
Cassavetes, John
Subject:
Film and Television-Production
Edition Description:
Cloth First Pub
Series Volume:
199
Publication Date:
20010831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
526
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.00 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » General

Cassavetes on Cassavetes New Trade Paper
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Product details 526 pages Faber & Faber - English 9780571201570 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Since his death in 1989, John Cassavetes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero - a maverick loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning 30 years. Carney's book presents Cassavetes through his own words - passionate about life and art.
"Synopsis" by ,
Since his death in 1989, John Cassavettes has become increasingly renowned as a cinematic hero--a renegade loner who fought the Hollywood system, steering his own creative course in a career spanning thirty years. Having already established himself as an actor, he struck out as a filmmaker in 1959 with Shadows, and proceeded to build a formidable body of work, including such classics as Faces, Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Gloria. In Cassavettes on Cassavettes, Ray Carney presents the great director in his own words--frank, uncompromising, humane, and passionate about life and art.

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