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MBC Interactive Archive Project: Shadows

Directed by: John Cassavetes | 1959 | 1h 27m

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ONE NIGHT ONLY: 10/2
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O Cinema South Beach

1130 Washington Ave, Miami Beach (786) 471-3269

Additional information

• Adults – $11.00
• Older Adults (62+ years old w/ valid ID) – $10.00
• Students & Teachers (w/ valid ID) – $10.00
• O Cinema Members – $7.50
• MBFS Members – FREE
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MBC Interactive Archive Project – 1960s-Counter Culture USA
Miami Beach Film Society (in collaboration with Ad-Hoc Cinema) presents John Cassavetes’ SHADOWS!

Japanese program for SHADOWS, 1958, from the MBCarchive

SHADOWS isn’t America’s first indie feature film, but it may be its first mature one — the first to put everything on the line for its uncompromising modern approach to style and subject matter.

As he follows the lives of three black Manhattanite siblings (with a breakout performance by Lelia Goldoni), Cassavetes gives each actor room to shape their character like a bandleader calling out solos. The filmmaker would refine this style in later pictures, but one doesn’t look to SHADOWS for refinement; it’s as raw, direct and original as the day it first hit the screen.

In his directorial debut, Cassavetes tells a risky, elliptical story about love, money, sex and blackness. Using the rough-hewn vérité style which redefined filmmaking, SHADOWS’ off-the-cuff narrative and staccato editing share an affinity with bop jazz.

John Cassavetes with Stanley Kramer, 1958. Photo MBCarchive

“…it may come as a surprise to learn that the Cassavetes behind the camera, the one who launched America’s independent cinema of the sixties and ultimately made a dozen films (most of them completely under his control), considered himself, and was considered by associates, a missionary of love. “I have a need for characters to really analyze love,” he said. “That’s all I’m interested in—love and the lack of it.”
– GARY GIDDENS, CRITERION COLLECTION