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Shadows

Admirers of Mean Streets may have wondered how Martin Scorsese came by his dizzy vision of a nervy New York. John Cassavetes first film may well have been a strong influence. As in the later film, what matters is less the storyotwo brothers and a sister working out various tensions between themselves, their friends and loversothan the electric atmosphere and edgy performances. The trio trudge through their seedy lives (smoky night-clubs, pretentious parties, disastrous sexual encounters, brawls, beery beatnik conversations) suffering from hypertension, although what is now so surprising about this milestone of improvisational cinema is that it is often quite funny.

U.S.A., 1959.
With: Ben Carruthers, Hugh Hurd, Lelia Goldoni.
Black and white.
87 mins.

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