Accidental Genius by Marshall Fine
How John Cassavetes Invented the Independent Film

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Synopsis

In the world of independent film making John Cassavetes stands apart. Among filmmakers and film buffs, Cassavetes is revered, almost as a god. A major star of live television and a serious actor, he stumbled into making his first film, Shadows, and created a template for working outside the Hollywood system that would produce some of the most piercing and human films of the last thirty years including A Woman Under the Influence and Husbands. He became the prototypical outsider fighting the system for much of his career. Film critic Marshall Fine had unprecendented access to Cassavetes' wife, Gena Rowlands, and other members of their inner circle, as well as industry insiders who worked with Cassavetes -- some speaking publicly for the first time. Together, they tell his daring, tumultuous, and compelling story.
 

About Marshall Fine

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Fine is the author of Bloody Sam: The Life and Films of Sam Peckinpan.
 
Published January 25, 2006 by Miramax. 496 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Accidental Genius

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To most film junkies, the late actor and director John Cassavetes (Faces, A Woman Under the Influence) is an independent film icon.

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Entertainment Weekly

John Cassavetes, who died in 1989, probably would have been tickled by this year's Best Picture win for Crash, a thematically ambitious indie that carries genetic strands of his prickly, pioneering work in films like 1959's Shadows and 1974's A Woman Under the Influence.

Mar 22 2006 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

Huffington Post

There is mysterious back-and-forth between this pair, in which Slattery reminds Mackie that his assignment is to spill coffee on Norris before 7:10 a.m. as Norris strolls through Manhattan's Madison Square Park.

Mar 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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Like any great legal thriller, Hornet's Nest sets up a fascinating David-Goliath dichotomy: Blomkvist and Salander (and Blomkvist's lawyer sister, who is defending Salander) on one side, a secret government intelligence arm with seemingly inexhaustible resources (and a willingness to plant eviden...

Oct 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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Author and film critic, hollywoodandfine.com.

Jul 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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The story starts in Asgard, legendary realm of the Norse gods, where we see the king of the gods, Odin (Anthony Hopkins -- does this guy turn down anything?), vanquishing the greatest threat known to the Seven Realms: the Frost Giants (whose king is an unrecognizable Colm Feore -- as if most peop...

May 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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For the first half of the film, you can almost kid yourself into believing that these witty sidetrips - to the agonizing rehearsals for a small theater company's production of Hedda Gabler - are what the film is about.

Mar 25 2014 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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It is almost the moment when folk music will become mainstream enough to be on a national TV network: the weekly show, Hootenanny, which tried to pasteurize the growing sense of social commentary out of what had started as a celebration of traditional music.

Dec 03 2013 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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When her husband Beverly (Sam Shepard), an obviously long-suffering poet and professor, disappears one day, Violet summons her three daughters home.

Dec 22 2013 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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It's a gutsy move, particularly because the character, played by Dunham, is apparently an extrapolation of Dunham's life.

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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Later, Sixsmith finds out that, in fact, the fire was not some conflagration that consumed the abbey but, rather, a bonfire the nuns held to burn the abbey's records.

Nov 18 2013 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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That's McCarthy's perpetual message, whether in his novels or films from his novels, like The Road and No Country for Old Men.

Oct 24 2013 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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The studios' slavish attention to the Comic-Con audience has caused any number of misfires, movies that killed at Comic-Con and died in the marketplace.

Apr 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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On the run from Pearly, Peter robs a mansion on Central Park - and falls in love with a consumptive young woman named Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay, the late Lady Sibyl on "Downton Abbey") who lives there.

Feb 19 2014 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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One day, on one of her rare trips to the town's generic discount box store to buy Henry new school clothes, Adele and Henry are approached by a man, Frank Chambers (Brolin), blood on his shirt, asking for a little help: a ride and a place to clean up.

Feb 07 2014 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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The average 18-to-24-year-old, lured into this film by the ads that make it look like a companion piece to Spring Breakers, will mainly come away thinking: Whoa, how do I get a life like that?

Jan 30 2014 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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For the audience that would never dream of seeing a foreign film, this movie will be the last word in Dragon Tattoo movie-making.

Dec 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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Actor Sam Riley, playing the Kerouac stand-in character, Sal Paradise, utters Kerouac's immortal line at one point: "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commo...

Jan 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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Specifically, her parents are planning a kidney transplant to her sister - which would saddle Anna with a single kidney and a lifetime of caution that would exclude sports, cheerleading, even childbearing.

Jun 25 2009 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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The invaders look a little like palm-sized fiber-optic centipedes and, as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they take over human hosts - get it?

Mar 28 2013 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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As research before seeing the final film, I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the sixth in the series) and Deathly Hallows, Part 1, back to back the night before the Part 2 screening.

Jul 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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But once it becomes clear where this is headed -- Eileen's crisis of conscience at rejecting her children in pursuit of an award from a church that also denies the legitimacy of their choices -- there's no salvaging this earnest film.

May 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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A remake of a 2005 French film, The Tourist stars Angelina Jolie as Elise, first seen setting fire to a secretive note in a Paris café, then eluding Scotland Yard operatives.

Dec 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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While her male companion dithers and runs down the pier to get to the shore to get to the water, the valiant John simply jumps in, dives to the bottom and rescues the purse, winning the girl's heart.

Feb 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Accidental Genius: How John C...

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