WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Friday, January 14, 2005

Cassevetes, Magus

Temperatures have plunged into the sub-zero range. What to do? Put some Brazilian Samba on the CD player and conjure visions of hot, nearly-naked, nubile bodies dancing in the streets of Rio!

I'm sipping some powerful coffee, waiting for that 'dreamy state before one makes art.'

Over the last three nights (running time: 200 minutes) I watched a documentary ('A Constant Forge') on John Cassevetes and his films (Husbands, Faces, Shadows, Woman Under the Influence). What a great, deeply-loved and loving man! Cassevetes is a filmmaker who really blazed a trail, a guy who knew what he wanted to create, who never compromised, and seemingly never doubted. You wonder where he found such complete confidence in his vision and art (art, as he defines it: the ability to express oneself with absolute freedom and joy).

Cassevetes films are known for being 'difficult,' and it's clear that he tried mightily to make them that way. But his love for people and his deep belief in the uniqueness of each individual seems to be his real driving force. Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel all testify to his commitment to his family, to the overwhelming joy of collaboration and creation. He believed that our 'money culture,' is the refuge of those who fear life. He embraced life with all it's pain and contradiction, he embraced it with a mad joy. He shows us an essential way to see and to live.

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