Previously at the ICA - Films

John Cassavetes, Shadows, 1959

Member's Screening: Shadows

23 Nov 2014

Shadows was John Cassavetes' first directorial effort. Like his later critically acclaimed films Faces and Husbands, Cassavetes fills the screen with probing, unflattering closeups.

The film is a straightforward account of a biracial romance (a far less common film subject in 1960 than today). Light-skinned African-American Lelia Goldoni falls in love with a white man Anthony Ray, who spurns her when he meets the rest of her family.

Far from subtle, Shadows benefits from the undisciplined energy of its direction and the excellence of its individual performances. Costing a scant $40,000 (less than the average half-hour TV episode of the era), it won the Critic's Award at the Cannes Film Festival and led to more expensive studio as assignments for Cassavetes.

Shadows, dir. John Cassavetes, US 1959, cert. 12A.

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