Cinema Station

What it means to say Cassavetes | May 17, 2011

These are excerpts from the book, Cassavetes on Cassavetes. They are the director’s own words.

We really aren’t ourselves, and the impression we make on people is often the direct opposite of the one intended

If somebody says to you, “Ah, I don’t know, this picture’s not going to make money,” or “That play’s never gonna make it,” you’ve got to attack them. You’ve got to attack them!

I couldn’t wait for the next day to come so I could get involved with some new girl and promise to marry her and then stop seeing her. In those days, I promised to marry just about every girl I took out. I felt if that’s what they wanted to hear, that’s what I’d tell them.

I’m not part of anything. I never joined anything. I could work anywhere. Some of the greatest pictures I’ve ever seen came from the studio system. I have nothing against it at all. I’m an individual. Intellectual bullshit doesn’t interest me.

I’m only interested in working with people who like to work and find out about something that they don’t already know.

It didn’t matter to me whether or not Shadows would be any good; it just became a way of life where you got close to people and where you could hear ideas that weren’t full of shit.

Not one actor was paid for his services, nor were the technicians given anything. What kept us going was enthusiasm. We were working for the fun of doing something we wanted to do.

Some really weird girl came in off the street; she had a mustache and hair on her legs and the hair on her head was matted with dirt and she wore a filthy polka-dot dress; she was really bad… Anyway, she became our sound editor and straightened out her life.

-TM

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