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Cassavetes Directs [Paperback]

Michael Ventura
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

27 July 2007
In 1983 visionary director John Cassavetes asked journalist Michael Ventura to write a unique film study - an on-set diary of the making of his film "Love Streams". Cassavetes laid out his expectations. He wanted 'a daring book, a tough book'. In Ventura's words, 'All I had to do for 'daring' and 'tough' was transcribe this man's audacity day by day.' "Cassavetes Directs" describes the creation of "Love Streams" shot by shot, crisis by crisis. During production, the director learned that he was seriously ill, that this film might, as it tragically turned out, be his last. Starring alongside actress and wife Gena Rowlands, Cassavetes shot in sequence, reconceiving and revising his film almost nightly, in order that "Love Streams" could stand as his final statement. Both an intimate portrait of the man and an insight into his unique filmmaking philosophy, "Cassavetes Directs" documents a heroic moment in the life of a great !

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kamera Books (27 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842432281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842432280
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Ventura was born in New York City in 1945. He Began writing at the age of 19 in Manhattan as typsetter and transcriber.

He is best known for his long-running column, "Letters at 3 A.M.", which first appeared in L.A. Weekly in the early 1980s and now appears biweekly in the Austin Chronicle.

He has published three novels: Night Time Losing Time (1989), The Zoo Where You're Fed to God (1994), and The Death of Frank Sinatra (1996). He is currently completing another novel, about Miriam of Magdala, an excerpt from which was published in the third issue of the CalArts literary journal Black Clock in 2005.

He is the author of two essay collections, Shadow-Dancing in the U.S.A. (1985) (out of print) and Letters at 3 A.M.: Reports on Endarkenment (1994).

With psychologist James Hillman, Ventura co-authored the 1992 bestseller We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse.

Ventura now lives in Texas Penhandle.

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5.0 out of 5 stars peter 29 Nov 2012
By Almos
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a wonderful book, i should think, to any cassavetes enthusiast. invaluable. ventura writes from a place of intense appreciation for cassavetes but, in my opinion, never cheapens his observations through fawning or obsequiousness. he's his own man, a young one, who looks up to cassavetes and will be forever inspired by him, just like me and many i know. but unlike me and many i know, ventura was right next to him, wide-eyed, day to day taking notes and shooting his documentary during the process of cassavetes' last and, to many, most beautiful film. this will sound like hyperbole, but it's akin (to me!) to finding a new gospel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Cassavetes fans 11 May 2011
By Ryan Clark - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's rare to find a book that allows you to experience what it's like to be on a film set. In fact, it's better than being on a film set, because all the delays and frustrations that go into making a movie are avoided (though they are mentioned briefly in the book). Luckily, the film in question is the final masterpiece of John Cassavetes, the man who started the independent film movement. He hired a journalist, Michael Ventura, to visit the set each day and write a book about the making of "Love Streams", and the result is extremely thorough without being tedious. It's an entertaining read that offers a rare, day-to-day glimpse of a genius at work and the various people who helped him bring his vision to life. If you're a fan, you will not be able to put this book down. It is a wonderful companion to Ventura's behind-the-scenes documentary "I'm Almost Not Crazy" (which contains a lot of the moments described in the book) and to Ray Carney's Cassavetes on Cassavetes, the definitive tome on the man's life and career. It's a shame that Ventura's book wasn't published in Cassavetes' lifetime, but at least now we have it to study and enjoy forever. I think he would be pleased.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars insightful diary 15 Dec 2009
By Javier Carmona - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are great nuts-and-bolts examples of Cassavetes filmmaking method, told by a person with an underlined admiration for this individual. The author really does work as the fly on the wall. I wish more of these types of journals existed for Cassavetes' other films.
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