Shadows (1959) - Low budget, won critic's
award at Cannes. Pioneering.
Too Late Blues (1961) - Major studio debut
staring Bobby Darin. Low key Jazz drama.
A Child is Waiting (1963) - His strongest.
Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland at odds over teaching methods.
Faces (1968) - A couple in their fourteenth
year of marriage. Originally a six hour cut. Venice bestowed
no less than five awards.
Husbands (1970) - Three middle-aged men
in crisis when one of friends dies.
Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) - A divorced
woman in her forties falls for a scruffy young hippie.
A Woman Under the Influence (1974) - Emotional
meltdown of a suburban housewife.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
-Film noir about a sleazy club owner dealing with the mob.
Opening Night (1977) - Broadway actress
dealing with pre-opening night setbacks and disasters.
Gloria (1980) - Film noir dealing with
former mobster's mistress looking after a young boy whose
parents are killed by the mob.
Love Streams (1984) - His weakest. Brother
and sister dealing with life.
Big Trouble (1986) - Most comedic. Starring
Peter Falk, Alan Arkin and Beverly D'Angelo involved in
an insurance scam.
Nicholas Cassavetes (December 9, 1929 - February 3, 1989)
was an American actor who has appeared in many Hollywood
films (selected filmography : The TV series Stagatto, The
Dirty Dozen, Rosemary's Baby and The Tempest). As screenwriter
and director, he is praised for and revered as an influential
pioneer of independent film. He used hand-held cameras and
cinema-vérité techniques in the making of his films, and
often based his scripts on the actual characters of his
actors. He was pioneer in the use of improvisation (Shadows
was totally improvised) as well as in his innovative (often
stark) close-ups that unveiled and uncomfortably exposed
his characters (Faces).
Thematically his films
were explorations of real people dealing with the day to
day issues common to everyone: suburban family life (A Woman
Under the Influence, Faces and Husbands); entertainers (Too
Late Blues, Opening Night); mobsters (Killing of a Chinese
Bookie, Gloria); care givers (A Child is Waiting) and celebrities
(Opening Night, Love Streams.) He also explicitly dealt
with subjects that were taboo at the time (Shadows - interracial
relationships, and A Child is Waiting - dealing with and
teaching children who are mentally handicapped). He often
used non-professionals; in A Child is Waiting, the actual
residents of an institution were asked to put on a play
staged for their parents. His films fully (and unapologetically)
explored the volatile emotional spectrum. His unique manner
in exposing emotions became the thread that bound his work,
along with a circle of actors that appeared in many of his
films: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, Seymour Cassel