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pierwszy hollywoodzki film Cassavetesa
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Too Late Blues
dir. John Cassavetes / USA 1961 / 103’
subtitles: Polish


Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, Everett Chambers, Nick Dennis, Rupert Crosse, Vince Edwards, Val Avery, Seymour Cassel

Film description

Too Late Blues is the first of three Cassavetes films shot with a Hollywood budget. When Shadows hit the limelight, Martin Rackin, head of production at Paramount, offered the director a film about a young jazz musician. Cassavetes immediately had difficulty adjusting to the studio system. He favored reworking the script with actors while shooting, an impossible feat in a disciplined Hollywood where everything runs on a schedule. It was during production, after a friendly talk with Don Siegel, that Cassavetes finally realized the director’s status in the studio system had nothing to do with artistic achievements, but rather the quality and amount of office space granted by the studio. More importantly, he learned producers – never directors – had ultimate control over their films.

Too Late Blues, the story of John ‘Ghost’ Wakefield, may offer an allegory of Cassavetes’ life. Ghost, a young jazz piano player, falls in love, but has difficulty balancing his feelings, responsibilities – and accepting the girl’s past. He leaves Jessica and his band to work as a session musician and gigolo. Ghost later returns in an attempt to rebuild what he destroyed.

In a ‘The New York Times’ interview before the shoot, Cassavetes describes the movie as a jazz or blues type of drama, the theme of which is the idea that, despite any success we may achieve, society pushes us to the point of unhappiness. (A.H. Weiler, By Way of Report, ‘New York Times’ 9/28/60).

Elżbieta Durys

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