Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented the Independent Film

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9781401352493: Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented the Independent Film

In the world of independent film making John Cassavetes stands apart. Among filmmakers and film buffs, Cassavetes is revered, almost as a god. A major star of live television and a serious actor, he stumbled into making his first film, Shadows, and created a template for working outside the Hollywood system that would produce some of the most piercing and human films of the last thirty years including A Woman Under the Influence and Husbands. He became the prototypical outsider fighting the system for much of his career. Film critic Marshall Fine had unprecendented access to Cassavetes' wife, Gena Rowlands, and other members of their inner circle, as well as industry insiders who worked with Cassavetes -- some speaking publicly for the first time. Together, they tell his daring, tumultuous, and compelling story.

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About the Author:

Marshall Fine is film and TV critic for Star magazine. He is also author of Harvey Keitel: The Art of Darkness. He lives in Ossining, N.Y.

From Publishers Weekly:

To most film junkies, the late actor and director John Cassavetes (Faces, A Woman Under the Influence) is an independent film icon. To everyone else, he's either the evil husband in Rosemary's Baby or the guy who directed wife Gena Rowlands in Gloria. And that is Fine's motivation: "I wanted to write the book that I longed to read...the one that explained to a mainstream audience why they should know and care about the work of John Cassavetes." The good news is, the book is not an impenetrable academic tome. Rather than engage in esoteric film criticism, Fine gives us a blow-by-blow account of how Cassavetes's fierce will led to the birth of independent film. The director's desire to go against the grain is highlighted throughout, such as when he told higher ups at the Actors Studio: "Screw you. I don't want any part of you. I've got my own school and I'll drive yours out of town." For a Cassavetes devotee, this is manna. But if Fine's goal is to convert the uninitiated, he's missed the mark by taking it for granted that the reader will be as enamored of his subject as he is. And Fine's fetishistic description of every Cassavetes project progresses at a merciless grind so tedious that the merely curious would do better to rent a Cassavetes film.
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ISBN 10: 1401352499 ISBN 13: 9781401352493
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