The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies (Cambridge Film Classics) Paperback – 21 Aug 2008
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"...it is a special event...when Carney publishes a book that illustrates what film study and analysis can be at their most visionary and inspiring. Carney is clearly a born teacher....Every page of The Films of John Cassavetes is informed by the passion of a man on a mission to change the way movies are thought and written about. Carney has an extraordinarily exalted vision of the function of cinematic art. Film is, for him, neither escapist entertainment and recreation...nor an intricate stylistic game played off to one side of life...but a way of exploring the most important and complex aspects of human experience." Diane Cherkerzian, The Boston Globe
"One of the most exciting aspects of this book is the impression it conveys that absolutely everything is open to reappraisal and revaluation....Not the least innovative aspect of Carney's writing is the degree to which it is radically interdisciplinary, and he sketches a series of strikingly original (yet persuasive) connections between Cassavetes' work and that of other American artists and thinkers....I turned the pages, almost holding my breath at moments, startled by the depth, power and unexpectedness of the argument, emotionally suspended between exhilaration and fear." Diane Cherkerzian, The Boston Globe
"...reflects not only years of devotion to Cassavetes' work but also numerous conversations and interviews that the author had with the filmmaker, his colleagues and his friends....Carney's descriptions...are reinforced by the many photographs he provides of Cassavetes energetically working on scenes and individual moments with his actors and crew....Far from mere illustrations of the text, however, these 'inside photos'--published in this book for the first time--reinforce the focus of Carney's book." Filmmaker
"Carney's approach to Cassavetes is shaped by the depth and discipline of scholarly analysis, and also by the out-and-out enthusiasm of a movie-lover writing about some of his favorite pictures." The Christian Science Monitor
"There is plenty of sturdy analysis here and. . . Carney makes a strong case for his subject." Times Literary Supplement
The first book to tell in detail the story of a maverick filmmaker who worked outside the studio system. providing extended critical discussion on six of his most important films.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now, Carney, the leading Cassavetes expert, MUST (I hope) offer the definitive biography of this great artist: clearly one of the most original, courageous, and mature American filmmakers.
See Cassavetes's work on video ("A Woman Under the Influence" and "Love Streams" are absolutely wonderful; shockingly good), and then read this book. I heartily endorse it and sincerely hope for that definitive biography.
Viva Cassavetes (and Carney)!
Everything Carney writes tends to be tough at first, because, like Cassavetes, he mentions truths about life that very few people wish to confront. There is no evasion of reality in this book. People can be horrible to each other. We all die in the end. That's life.
Carney doesn't analyse Cassavetes' work in relation to other movies and cultural trends (as most film professors tend to do), but prefers to focus entirely on the performances of the characters on screen. Like Cassavetes, he never really explains the characters' motivations, but instead focuses on how they react to their environments. Everything he writes is about life -- you'll find nothing about tendentious compositions, popular culture, or auteur theory. The only important thing here is Carney's love for the characters and their creator.
One of the greatest books ever written on American film.
you didn't think about. One last point: Does any one notice how suprisingly objective Carney is when he mentions his most hated film makers like Spielberg ? Get this book. It may feel too intellectual, but it really isn't. If you think that then you are reading it too quickly and not thinking about what it's actually saying.