Thursday, March 26, 2020

FROM THE VAULTS: Husbands / Shadows

Dear readers,

Since it's the 10th anniversary of the blog this year, I have been looking back at my viewing history from the early years of my quest and trying to make a complete list of what I've watched over the years - especially the "lost" periods when I got tired of writing the blog. Most of the time I was just prioritizing watching movies over writing about them, but thankfully I still kept a record of what I was watching.

My writing for this blog also overlapped with my participation in the Internet Film Club, an international online discussion group which started as an email group in 2006 (I joined shortly after in 2007), and later transitioned to Facebook. I have just recovered some of my writing for that group, so I'll be sharing some of those posts intermittently to fill in some of the gaps in my quest. 

The first installment is a pair of films by John Cassavetes: Husbands and Shadows. I wrote about these two films for the film club just before I started the blog in January 2010 (with another Cassavetes film, Faces). So here there are now, for posterity...

Husbands (1970, John Cassavetes)

--Originally written 1/4/2010--

Current TSPDT Rank (2020 Edition): #281

[2010 Edition: #539] 


I introduced myself to the work of John Cassavete's with the great film Husbands. Simply, it's a film about three men going through a mid-life crisis but ... what's simple about that, right? It's a very profound film, as is Cassavete's style of filmmaking. He attempts to film reality, not actually in documentary form, but a mirror image of life and the real emotions of his characters. In this he succeeds, because the film feels very realistic, he brings the viewer unusually close to the characters and their problems. But at the same time, we notice the camera, and the way it's used to tell the story. Husbands is an extremely personal film, you can tell that it was created off Cassavetes' own mid-life crisis. It's a daring film in that you can tell that Cassavetes is just laying his soul bare for us to see. Overall, I thought it was very good. I had heard it was hard to watch but had no troubles with it.

Shadows (1959, John Cassavetes)

--Originally written 1/10/2010--

Current TSPDT Rank (2020 Edition): #437

[2010 Edition: #302] 


Shadows ... now here is a film that is a complete mess. It obviously had a lot of influence, as far as independent filmmaking goes (and especially the French new wave), and was very innovative for its
improvised acting, but it didn't work as a film for me. It seemed much more like one of Cassavetes' filmed improvising workshops. There's not really any main focus or idea, the camera just floats around from conflict to conflict - didn't really seem to matter what the conflict was - just so the actors could show off their improvisation skills. Also, the interracial romance (if you can even call it that) of the story was probably edgy and important for the time, but it's very irrelevant today.


  1. So great to have you posting again - I've been reading for years and don't mind the hiatus. Just keep chugging...

    1. Thank you for reading! I'm very honored that someone has stayed on board throughout the many lapses in activity. Stay tuned for more throughout the year. I'm picking up steam!