Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 0
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Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 3.9/5
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Shadows was John Cassavetes' first directorial effort. Like his later critically acclaimed films Faces and Husbands, Cassavetes fills the screen with probing, unflattering closeups. Unlike his other films, however, Shadows zips along at 87 minutes, avoiding the pitfall of putting the director's nonfans to sleep. 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
Jan 1, 1959 Wide
Apr 7, 1998
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This is the only Cassavetes film made without a full script (it grew out of acting improvs), and rarely has so much warmth, delicacy, and raw feeling emerged so naturally and beautifully from performances in an American film.
A very modern, impressionistic snapshot of New York bohemia with scenes linked not by dramatic line but by place, time and mood.
Shadows is an unfinished picture in every sense of the word. Yet it is fitfully dynamic, endowed with a raw but vibrant strength, conveying an illusion of being a record of real people, and it is incontestably sincere.
In this experimental film, Cassavetes' approach and a cast of unknowns brought a new sense of realism to the American cinema.
The Beat generation espoused a rejection of mainstream American values, and John Cassavetes's Shadows feels like a relic from that movement.
a cinematic improvisation (as the end credits mention) of amateur vitality
Its importance in the development of the American independent movement cannot be overstated, nor can the unique power it still retains.
The film's underlying strength is its wrenching portrait of resigned despair over the world's inescapable prejudice.
Regardless of the veracity of the improvisational claim, Shadows is a remarkable film.
In Cassavetes's inventive and iconoclastic hands, both the content and form of American film underwent a radical transformation.
A fascinatingly honest portrayal of its time, and radical not just in content but in form.
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