Shadows Reviews

  • Aug 27, 2020

    At it's best, it's a groundbreaking experimental film that opened the doors to a new wave of independent filmmaking a decade before Easy Rider. At it's worst, it's a mess that gets lost in it's experiment, and may lose the viewer at times too. Nevertheless, Cassavetes improvisational approach to filmmaking opened the doors to countless others who would go on to refine what he founded. Any of us who call ourselves filmmakers are indebted to his pioneering.

    At it's best, it's a groundbreaking experimental film that opened the doors to a new wave of independent filmmaking a decade before Easy Rider. At it's worst, it's a mess that gets lost in it's experiment, and may lose the viewer at times too. Nevertheless, Cassavetes improvisational approach to filmmaking opened the doors to countless others who would go on to refine what he founded. Any of us who call ourselves filmmakers are indebted to his pioneering.

  • Jun 20, 2019

    One of the more unique films I've seen this year. This film feels quite unfocused at first glance as its story is quite minimal (even the meat of the story is largely pushed aside in favor of less story driven moments). Instead of this harming the film, it felt more like the story was delivered in a series of brief flirtations. It's almost as if Cassavetes was taking us around the city to experience brief splices in the lives of these characters (both vital and casual ones). The arcs certain characters in here undergo may feel awkward at first glance since you don't always get to see what leads up to them, but I think this benefits the movie as it shows the full force of Cassavetes' uncompromising stylistic choices. He isn't going for traditional characterizations. Overall, I really dug this one, and I now feel more comfortable to rewatch "A Woman Under the Influence" and Cassavetes' other films.

    One of the more unique films I've seen this year. This film feels quite unfocused at first glance as its story is quite minimal (even the meat of the story is largely pushed aside in favor of less story driven moments). Instead of this harming the film, it felt more like the story was delivered in a series of brief flirtations. It's almost as if Cassavetes was taking us around the city to experience brief splices in the lives of these characters (both vital and casual ones). The arcs certain characters in here undergo may feel awkward at first glance since you don't always get to see what leads up to them, but I think this benefits the movie as it shows the full force of Cassavetes' uncompromising stylistic choices. He isn't going for traditional characterizations. Overall, I really dug this one, and I now feel more comfortable to rewatch "A Woman Under the Influence" and Cassavetes' other films.

  • Jan 26, 2019

    The best movie ever made!

    The best movie ever made!

  • Dec 14, 2018

    It was an interesting experiment, but it just doesn't work for me. With all the jump cuts and shoddy audio I can't bring myself to say that this film is good. It could have been executed much better. At the end of the day, the improvisation seems to be a cheap gimmick to get people to forgive the messiness of the film.

    It was an interesting experiment, but it just doesn't work for me. With all the jump cuts and shoddy audio I can't bring myself to say that this film is good. It could have been executed much better. At the end of the day, the improvisation seems to be a cheap gimmick to get people to forgive the messiness of the film.

  • Feb 11, 2018

    1001 movies to see before you die. An interesting, independent film experience. A real look at youth in the city, with a jazz riff.

    1001 movies to see before you die. An interesting, independent film experience. A real look at youth in the city, with a jazz riff.

  • Jul 08, 2017

    Just as the French New Wave was arriving, Cassavetes debut brought indie films into full circle. It's simple, engaging, charming and most of all not Hollywood.

    Just as the French New Wave was arriving, Cassavetes debut brought indie films into full circle. It's simple, engaging, charming and most of all not Hollywood.

  • Apr 21, 2017

    Truly avant-garde beat generation biracial romance film. Feels very real and raw, and a bit surprising and mature in themes compared to anything else from that era.

    Truly avant-garde beat generation biracial romance film. Feels very real and raw, and a bit surprising and mature in themes compared to anything else from that era.

  • Apr 06, 2017

    A complex and creative portrayal of racial prejudice and youthful promiscuity in New York City.

    A complex and creative portrayal of racial prejudice and youthful promiscuity in New York City.

  • May 11, 2016

    The standard plot summary for this film tends to focus on the interracial relationship aspect of it, which really kind of short changes what this film is about. That's certainly a plot line in this film, and an important one since it was hardly a common issue to be tackling in 1959, but it tends to reduce this film to "issue film" status, which really short changes it. It's a highly improvisational film which riffs on it's 3 major characters, focusing on mood as much as it does on plot. This is appropriate giving it's jazz world setting, and it's part of what is really remarkable and groundbreaking about it.

    The standard plot summary for this film tends to focus on the interracial relationship aspect of it, which really kind of short changes what this film is about. That's certainly a plot line in this film, and an important one since it was hardly a common issue to be tackling in 1959, but it tends to reduce this film to "issue film" status, which really short changes it. It's a highly improvisational film which riffs on it's 3 major characters, focusing on mood as much as it does on plot. This is appropriate giving it's jazz world setting, and it's part of what is really remarkable and groundbreaking about it.

  • Apr 22, 2016

    A cheerful embrace of the domain of the unknown the resides in the heart of every man and woman. Shadows is a masterpiece that distinguishes the purest of human emotions, and yet manages to attain a feeling of wholeness in every each one of its sensational characters. Not surprised to see John taking on such a vast space of uncertainty on the very first kick on what later becomes a story of one of the greatest directors ever embracing the virtues of filmmaking...

    A cheerful embrace of the domain of the unknown the resides in the heart of every man and woman. Shadows is a masterpiece that distinguishes the purest of human emotions, and yet manages to attain a feeling of wholeness in every each one of its sensational characters. Not surprised to see John taking on such a vast space of uncertainty on the very first kick on what later becomes a story of one of the greatest directors ever embracing the virtues of filmmaking...