36 Great Directors: John Cassavetes

“I’m sort of my own Mafia, you know, breaking my own knees.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Woman Under the Influence.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: N/A.

What Did I Watch: Woman Under the Influence.

Where Does He Fit: Gena Rowlands’ performance in this is what the movies are all about: it seems so natural but it’s aggressively fake. She enters a room and lights just happen to flash on her face while music plays, but we take it as the height of realism. Truly magical, and despite the fact that it’s a horrifying shitshow, it also contains humor and joy. People are funny even if they also behave so cruelly to one another. This is a marathon that we will never be able to truly parse, the definition of what Cassavetes’ works are all about and what so many have failed at imitating.


Most Valuable Asset: Actors.
Most Excited For: Opening Night.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: X.


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