John Cassavetes yanked cinema by the throat and crafted a near-voyeuristic realism so impeccably acted that critics believed his film Faces was simply ad-libbed. It wasn't. Cassavetes — an actor's director if ever the thing existed — maintained a tight cadre of talented actors (including his wife Gena Rowlands) and forged an uncomfortable and intense style that put the audience inside a film without them realizing it. Cassavetes' best works are beatings, but they're beatings you want to take. The Webster Film Series celebrates the American auteur's work with a three-week-long festival, Send It With Truth: The Uncompromising Cinema of John Cassavetes, which features nine of his finest features. A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes, a documentary on the tireless director's obsessive work ethic (he financed his productions with acting jobs in big-budget films such as The Dirty Dozen and Rosemary's Baby), screens at 8 p.m. Thursday (July 9, 16 and 23). The powerful Faces is shown at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 11. All films are $5 to $6 and show in the Winifred Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries).
Thursdays. Starts: July 9. Continues through July 23, 2009