John Cassavetes: Five Films Blu-ray (Criterion) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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John Cassavetes: Five Films

Studio: Criterion

Dec 23, 2013 Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIM Bookmark and Share

John Cassavetes is as essential to independent film as The Velvet Underground are to independent music. The myriad roads he paved are echoed in canonized filmmakers as disparate as Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, and Mike Leigh. Five Films, originally released in standard DVD format in 2004, has been given a more than welcome Blu-ray treatment by Criterion to stunning results.

From the wanton aggression of John Marley in Faces, the stark contrition of Ben Gazzara in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, to the repressed grief engendered by Gena Rowlands in Opening Night, this is American cinema at its finest, and these films have never looked better than they do in these glorious Blu-ray renderings.

These aren’t easy films to digestCassavetes was morbidly allergic to panderingbut stick with them and you’re with this seminal director on his exhilarating journey through the undeniably vulnerable yet resilient crux of the human condition. (

Author rating: 10/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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