HUSBANDS
1970, Sony Repertory, 131 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Death, booze and gambling dominate this dour, yet strangely life-affirming dissection of masculinity and the male ego. Cassavetes’ fifth feature, HUSBANDS follow three men, who abandon their wives and adult responsibilities for purely hedonistic exploits after learning of the death of a common friend. Seeing camaraderie as the only antidote for existential dread, the trio makes its way to London, where they forge a stronger bond while becoming further disconnected from reality. Starring Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and Cassavetes himself, the film is a painful, sublime, and often funny portrait of grief and desperation.


SHADOWS
1958, AGFA, 87 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

With its low budget, seemingly improvised style, naturalistic acting and progressive view of racial politics, Cassavetes’ groundbreaking directorial debut kickstarted not only a career, but an entirely new way of thinking about American cinema. Set in beatnik Manhattan (a locale commonly associated with the New York native), the film follows three African-American siblings who share a close bond despite their various goals, whether it be hitting it big as a musician, frequenting the local bars, or falling in love. With the free-flowing quality of jazz, a genre which dominates the soundtrack, SHADOWS remains one of the most influential films of the 1950s.


THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE
1976, Westchester Films, 129 min, Dir: John Cassavetes

A close friend of director-writer John Cassavetes, Timothy Carey stars here as Flo, a hulking Hollywood mobster who plots to take over the Sunset Boulevard strip club run by Ben Gazzara.


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