Summer reading, August edition

“Cassavetes made a film the way sculptor cuts stone or a writer writes a novel – responding to the previous day’s work, discovering new directions and possibilities, allowing his material to teach him. The way Cassavetes put it was that the more he worked on the film, the more possibilities he saw in it… As an actor himself, Cassavetes was a master at ‘making a scene’ to change the mood or get emotions into the place he wanted them. He adapted his technique to the needs of the individual actor. Gina Rowlands once said that ‘some actors need to be loved, others antagonized and others ignored.’ Cassavetes would adapt his directing method to the particular emotional needs of the actor and the scene. It wasn’t always pretty. There were screams and fights, stares and enraged silences. Cassettes did whatever it took: sometimes gentleness was the way to do it; at other times it might take harshness. He might make a scene by picking a fight with a crew member to take the pressure off an actor; he might unexpectedly call off the production for the day and try again the next.” – from “Cassavetes on Cassavetes”

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