'John Cassavetes: Five Films' Announced and Detailed for Blu-ray

Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 05:30 PM PDT by

A boxed set featuring five films directed by John Cassavetes is bound for Blu-ray in October.

In an early announcement to retailers, Criterion is preparing 'John Cassavetes: Five Films' for Blu-ray on October 22.

John Cassavetes was a genius, a visionary, and the progenitor of American independent film, but that doesn’t begin to get at the generosity of his art. A former theater actor fascinated by the power of improvisation, Cassavetes brought his search for truth in performance to the screen.

The five films in this collection--'Shadows' (1959), 'Faces' (1968), 'A Woman Under the Influence' (1974), 'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie' (1976), and 'Opening Night' (1976)—all of which the director maintained total control over by financing them himself and making them outside the studio system—are electrifying and compassionate creations, populated by all manner of humanity: beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, children. Cassavetes has often been called an actor’s director, but this body of work—even greater than the sum of its extraordinary parts—shows him to be an audience’s director.

The 5-disc set features 1080p video, uncompressed mono soundtracks, and supplements include: A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes (2000), a 200-minute documentary by Charles Kiselyak; New interviews with actor Lelia Goldoni and associate producer Seymour Cassel about Shadows; Silent footage from the Cassavetes-Lane Drama Workshop, from which Shadows emerged; Restoration demonstration for Shadows; Alternate eighteen-minute opening sequence for Faces; Episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps from 1968, dedicated to Cassavetes; Making “Faces,” a new documentary featuring interviews with actors Cassel, Lynn Carlin, and Gena Rowlands and director of photography Al Ruban; Audio commentary for A Woman Under the Influence by sound recordist and composer Bo Harwood and camera operator Mike Ferris; New conversation between Rowlands and actor Peter Falk about A Woman Under the Influence; New interviews with actor Ben Gazzara and Ruban on The Killing of a Chinese Bookie; New conversation between Rowlands and Gazzara about Opening Night; New interview with Ruban about Opening Night; Audio interviews with Cassavetes from the 1970s about A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Opening Night; Trailers for Shadows, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Opening Night; Stills and poster galleries; and a booklet featuring essays by Gary Giddins, Kent Jones, Charles Kiselyak, Stuart Klawans, Dennis Lim, and Phillip Lopate; writings by and interviews with Cassavetes; and tributes to the filmmaker by director Martin Scorsese; actor and writer Elaine Kagan, Cassavetes’s former secretary; and novelist Jonathan Lethem.

Suggested list price for the Blu-ray set is $124.95.

You can find the latest specs for 'John Cassavetes: Five Films' linked from our Blu-ray Release Schedule, where it's indexed under October 22.

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
John Cassavetes: Five Films (Blu-ray)
Tags: Disc Announcements, Criterion (all tags)