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MBC Interactive Archive Project - 1960s - Counter Culture USA, presented by Miami Beach Film Society in collaboration with Ad-Hoc Cinema: SHADOWS by John Cassavetes

  • 02 Oct 2019
  • 7:00 PM - 8:45 PM
  • Miami Beach Cinematheque at Historic City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave, South Beach
  • 60


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MBC Interactive Archive Project -

1960s-Counter Culture USA

Presented by the Miami Beach Film Society

in collaboration with Ad-Hoc Cinema

WED, OCT 02, 7p:


Directed by JOHN CASSAVETES/1958/1hr, 27mins.

Japanese program for SHADOWS, 1958, from the MBCarchive

SHADOWS isn’t America’s first indie feature film, but it may be its first mature one — the first to put everything on the line for its uncompromising modern approach to style and subject matter.

As he follows the lives of three black Manhattanite siblings (with a breakout performance by Lelia Goldoni), Cassavetes gives each actor room to shape their character like a bandleader calling out solos. The filmmaker would refine this style in later pictures, but one doesn’t look to SHADOWS for refinement; it’s as raw, direct and original as the day it first hit the screen.

In his directorial debut, Cassavetes tells a risky, elliptical story about love, money, sex and blackness. Using the rough-hewn vérité style which redefined filmmaking, SHADOWS’ off-the-cuff narrative and staccato editing share an affinity with bop jazz.

 “…it may come as a surprise to learn that the Cassavetes behind the camera, the one who launched America’s independent cinema of the sixties and ultimately made a dozen films (most of them completely under his control), considered himself, and was considered by associates, a missionary of love. “I have a need for characters to really analyze love,” he said. “That’s all I’m interested in—love and the lack of it.”-Gary Giddens, Criterion Collection

Hear the rare soundtrack of the film before the screening!

John Cassavetes with Stanley Kramer, 1958. Photo MBCarchive


The MBC Interactive Archive exhibition: The 1950s

is currently on display (before or after shows!)



MBFS is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization that is supported by people like YOU and by Basser Arts Foundation; French Consulate Cultural Services; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; Miami Dade County Mayor & Board of Commissioners & Miami Dade County Cultural Affairs Council; Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs. 


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