Dramas, Classic, Family Interaction, Race Relations, Injustice, Social Issues, Recommended, Independent, Theatrical Release, New York City, Love Affairs, Relationships, Essential Cinema
Shadows Criterion Collection DVD Description
When actor John Cassavetes, frustrated with the lack of reality in movies in the late 1950s, decided to direct his own low-budget film, a new form of cinema was born. Defined as "an improvisation" in the closing credits, SHADOWS concerns three New York siblings whose mixed racial backgrounds create tension in their relationships. Hugh (Hugh Herd) is a dark-skinned jazz singer who can only find work that belittles his talent; Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light-skinned aspiring writer; and Ben (Ben Carruthers), the youngest, a light-skinned ladies man who spends his nights searching with his white friends for conquests. Hugh and Ben argue over Ben's inability to accept his racial background, an issue that reaches its boiling point when Lelia develops a relationship with Tony (Anthony Ray), a racist. The film boasts a gritty, compelling style, and Charles Mingus's bouncy jazz score enhances the frenetic camera work to give it a documentary-like feel. The performances, all naturalistic and seemingly unrehearsed, add even greater realism to Cassavetes's vision, resulting in a visionary work that is widely considered the first independent American film.
Keep Case Full Frame - 1.33 Audio: Dolby Digital 1.0 - English Additional Release Material: Behind the Scenes Interviews: Lelia Goldoni, Actress; Seymour Cassel, Associate Producer Film Highlights: Restoration Demonstration Trailers: Theatrical Trailer Text/Photo Galleries: Galleries: Stills Gallery Additional Products: Booklet - Essays