The live camera of John Cassavetes follows the jazz vibe of the 1950s. The story evolves around three African-American siblings: the brothers Hugh and Ben and their sister Lelia. Hugh is the elder brother who looks after Ben and Lelia. He is a talented jazz musician, but his dark skin color evokes biased attitudes, causing problems on his way to a successful career. Unlike Hugh, his siblings are not that dark and often use it as an advantage.
A debut film of the cult American director, the pioneer of the independent wave John Cassavetes, Shadows is a fine example of the action-image crisis, inherent in the prewar cinema. Here, the plot, the space and the action break down: the characters spend time aimlessly wandering on Manhattan at night, getting involved in spontaneous situations and discovering their fates thereby. Cassavetes, Deleuze writes, “keeps only the parts of space connected to bodies; he composes space with disconnected bits”, arriving to the category of posture as something that has “the effect of putting time into bodies”. He therefore gradually gets to the cinema of the body, where, through postures and faces, the continual process of becoming is manifest. The Black become the White, and vice versa, while the movie permanently breaks its own borders, occupying a different locus at any given moment.
John Cassavetes, 87 minutes, USA,