Melbourne Cinémathèque The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present


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“[Shadows is] so far ahead of all Hollywood and independent films that once you've seen [it] you can no longer look at the official cinema: you know that American cinema can be more sensitive and intelligent.”

Jonas Mekas, Village Voice

Three African-American siblings – two of whom pass for white – negotiate issues of identity in the milieu of New York’s jazz scene.

Developed out of improvisations at John Cassavetes’ acting workshop, famously re-shot and re-cut after a less-than-auspicious premiere, the rawness, spontaneity and unadorned love Cassavetes displays for his characters and the actors who create them remains self-evident in this seminal work of US independent cinema.

The open-ended ambiguity of plot and character motivation heralds an American New Wave which would take another decade to crash onto Hollywood’s shores.

35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive.