From The Vault
February 5, 2020: Paul Newman and John Cassavettes
On this weeks From The Vault we return to our incredible collection of San Francisco International Film Festival Recordings. Pacifica Radio was there to record sometimes the only audio recording of these star filled galas from the late 1960’s until the early 1980’s. We’ve already presented recordings of several incredible Hollywood luminaries from this Festival in past From The Vault episodes such as Bette Davis, Shelly Winters, Ruth Gordon, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman and Lawrence of Arabia Director David Lean. This week we present Paul Newman and John Cassavetes from the 1970 San Francisco International Film Festival
The San Francisco Film Festival series was produced by KPFA’s Alan Farley and Hosted this year by Festival Director Albert Johnson who leads the conversation with Paul Newman. Here is Alan Farley to introduce the program.After spending most of the 1950’s honing his skills as an actor, John Cassavetes made a name for himself as a director with his first film 1959’s Shadows. It was on this project that he forged a place in film history and showcased his own brand of cinéma vérité, an acting style and look he could call his own. Cassavetes relied on the improvisational skills of his actors that was often captured with hand held cameras. The next two projects were heavily monitored Film studio projects where his style was stifled and inspired Cassavetes to rethink how he could create his vision in film. Beginning with his fourth film 1968’s FACES, he financed the next several projects on his own and shot them over years as the crews schedules allowed.
This allowed himself, the actors and crew a freedom not afforded them on a studio financed project on a tight deadline.
Cassavetes cast as principle actors those that connected with him on his vision which came from his core ensemble of himself, his wife Gena Rowlands and friends Seymour Cassell, Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara.