John Cassavetes: Five Films

John Cassavetes: Five Films

John Cassavetes was a genius, a visionary, and the progenitor of American independent film, but that doesn’t begin to get at the generosity of his art. A former theater actor fascinated by the power of improvisation, Cassavetes brought his search for truth in performance to the screen. The five films in this collection—all of which the director maintained total control over by financing them himself and making them outside the studio system—are electrifying and compassionate creations, populated by all manner of humanity: beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, children. Cassavetes has often been called an actor’s director, but this body of work—even greater than the sum of its extraordinary parts—shows him to be an audience’s director.

Film Info

  • Spine #250

Films In This Set

Purchase Options

Films In This Set

John Cassavetes: Five Films

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restorations of all five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
  • New high-definition digital restoration of Cassavetes’s 108-minute 1978 version of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
  • A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes (2000), a 200-minute documentary by Charles Kiselyak
  • New interviews with actor Lelia Goldoni and associate producer Seymour Cassel about Shadows
  • Silent footage from the Cassavetes-Lane Drama Workshop, from which Shadows emerged
  • Restoration demonstration for Shadows
  • Alternate eighteen-minute opening sequence for Faces
  • Episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps from 1968, dedicated to Cassavetes
  • Making “Faces,” a new documentary featuring interviews with actors Cassel, Lynn Carlin, and Gena Rowlands and director of photography Al Ruban
  • Al Ruban on Lighting and Shooting “Faces,” a new video program (Blu-ray); Lighting and Shooting the Film, an on-screen essay by Ruban, illustrated with video clips, that discusses the techniques and equipment used on Faces (DVD)
  • Audio commentary for A Woman Under the Influence by sound recordist and composer Bo Harwood and camera operator Mike Ferris
  • New conversation between Rowlands and actor Peter Falk about A Woman Under the Influence
  • New interview program featuring actor Ben Gazzara and Ruban discussing The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
  • New conversation between Rowlands and Gazzara about Opening Night
  • New interview with Ruban about Opening Night
  • Three audio interviews with Cassavetes from the 1970s
  • Trailers for Shadows, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Opening Night
  • Stills and poster galleries
  • Trailers
  • Biographical sketches of the actors Cassavetes frequently cast in his films, written by Tom Chartity (John Cassavetes: Lifeworks) (DVD only)
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Gary Giddins, Kent Jones, Kiselyak, Stuart Klawans, Dennis Lim, and Phillip Lopate; writings by and interviews with Cassavetes; and tributes to the filmmaker by director Martin Scorsese; actor and writer Elaine Kagan, Cassavetes’s former secretary; and novelist Jonathan Lethem

New covers by Lucien S. Y. Yang