Film 157 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” is 1959’s “Shadows”. This John Cassavetes improvised drama is about interracial relations during the Beat Generation years in New York City. This is John’s directorial début. This film is very bad. The acting is terrible, the film doesn’t make any sense and nothing is explained. Why do we care about a missing $20? Why is the musician angry about having to work with women singers? Who are all these characters? What is going on? All these questions were never answered. I tried to watch the film and all it did was make me more and more angry as it went on as nothing or no one explained anything. If they did, I didn’t hear it as the dialogue is terrible and I can barely make out what anyone is saying. I couldn’t tell if everyone is a mumbler or if the equipment they used to record the audio was broken. Fun Fact of the Film – An earlier and shorter version of the film, reportedly less bound by narrative, is apparently lost. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I managed to say while watching 1959’s “Shadows”
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Film – Shadows
Year – 1959
Director – John Cassavetes
Written by – John Cassvetes
Staring – Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd
IMDb Rating – 7.4/10
My Rating – A Complete Mess
Length – 80 min (1h 20min)
Genre – Drama
Welcome to New York’s Beat Generation
Back in the bands could only get gigs in people’s houses
I’m looking for a band who needs a guy who can play the bongos
This band sucks!
How did he slide on the pavement?
Did he try and steal his $20?
Let’s have a triple date at a cafe
This guy has a massive nose
Never call a woman “big” on a date!
I play the trumpet! And I ain’t talking about the instrument
Six minutes in and I have no idea who anyone is or what the plot is
I now know two characters – Ben and Nancy
The next day Ben is walking through New York
Better visit a dance class
Ben looks like Prince
What is happening?
A musician and his client have an arguement
The musician is angry about having to work as a duet with a woman
What’s the deal with the $20?
Now to meet two more characters who I don’t know at a bus station
Time to stalk this woman
Back with the musician and his agent who have moved in with their manager
This film is terrible