John Cassavetes (b. 1929–d. 1989) was an American actor and filmmaker who wrote, directed, and acted in a catalogue of independent films he made over a forty-year career. Cassavetes directed twelve films—thirteen if one considers (1958) and (1959) as distinct works. With a close group of actors and crew, his works often featured Gena Rowlands (b. 1930), Seymour Cassel (b. 1935), Peter Falk (b. 1927–d. 2011), and Ben Gazzara (b. 1930–d. 2012). Despite early praise of (1958) by writers such as Jonas Mekas, reviewers were often unfavorable, uninterested, and/or unkind to the majority of Cassavetes’s films. Cassavetes won no major awards in the United States, though Rowlands, his chief collaborator and his wife, was nominated for an Academy Award twice, for her performances in his films (1974) and (1980). Cassavetes did receive a steady run of accolades near the end of his life. At that point, scholars and critics began to consider his works more expansively in terms of their aesthetics—including oft-cited characteristics of a certain brand of realism, naturalism, and echoes of . The last three films of his career included two made within the studio system— (1980) and (1986). Released between these, (1984), Cassavetes’s last independent film, was also well received in the United States, and it won first place in the Berlin Film Festival. He died in 1989 of cirrhosis of the liver. For the most part, scholarly writings about the films of John Cassavetes did not appear until the 1980s and 1990s. They have been in large part spearheaded and expanded upon by a small number of authors. Prominent among those writers is Ray Carney. This article began under Carney’s advisorship, and his early input (2011–2012) helped shape its scale and scope. It is not a comprehensive listing and annotation of the writings, but it represents a selection highlighting major trends and directions of response and examination.
At once a biography and an autobiography, Carney’s book is significantly composed of sections that directly quote Cassavetes. Works covered include the director’s films, but consideration is also given to examples of his television work, such as Johnny Staccato.
Somewhere north of a hundred—no million needed—had decided, instead, to play Last Man, a loosely organized contest that began in the late aughts, when Kyle Whelliston, a blogger who didn’t care much for football, decided to try to be the “Last Man in America to Know Who Won the Super Bowl.” Soon, his readers started to play, and the group grew, until this year enough people joined to require a and an unofficial commissioner tracking the events on Twitter.