"Good times from now on. That's what we're gonna have." - A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Insofar as anyone can be said to have invented independent American cinema, John Cassavetes is it. He wrote and directed over a dozen films, pioneering the use of improvisation and a cinéma verité style that privileges truth over spectacle. He loathed Hollywood, considering its impetus to be economic rather than political or philosophical. He insisted, "people don't live that way. They live with anger and hostility and problems and lack of money and tremendous disappointments in their lives, so what they need is a philosophy. I think what everybody needs is a way to say, how can I love? How can I be in love, so that I can live?"
Though he worked with a consistent company of actors— many of them unknown— perhaps Cassavetes' most significant collaborator was his wife, Gena Rowlands. They created art with their own money, in their own home, surrounded by family and friends.
This month, Metrograph hosts a Cassavetes/Rowlands retrospective running July 15-24th. Rowlands will be present throughout for post-screening Q&A's.
35mm restored prints courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and Gucci.