It's Cool and Crazy, Man!

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Double Feature!

U.S. film. Excellent quality. Gorgeous black and white film. John Cassavetes' writing and directorial debut. Cool beatnik-hipster film that looks and sounds fantastic. Charles Mingus on the Jazz soundtrack. Fascinating NYC street film footage showing 1950s-era street scenes such as 52nd Street, Times Square, Colony Records, Port Authority, MOMA, Grand Central Station. Also, cool marquees, business signage, automobiles and clothing fashions.

The film opens with a raucous, drunken, rock and roll house party. Shadows stars Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni and Hugh Hurd as three African-American siblings, though only one of them is dark-skinned. The film depicts two weeks in the lives of three siblings on the margins of society; two brothers who are struggling jazz musicians, and their sister who dates several men.

Hurd plays a jazz singer hunting for a job, finally landing a gig at a sleazy club. Carruthers plays Ben, a trumpeter who hangs out with his friends, tries to pick up girls, and gets in fights. Goldoni plays Lelia, a flirtatious artist whose innocence is revealed through three relationships she has, one with an older white writer, one with a shallow white lover, and one with a gentle young black admirer.

The story moves back and forth, like free form jazz, among the three of them and what seems at first to be separate lives. Lelia meets Tony, and lets herself hope this is true love. Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd, Anthony Ray, Dennis Sallas, David Pokitillow, Rupert Crosse. Uncredited cameos include: John Cassavetes, Bobby Darin, Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel.

Plus this bonus selection...

U.S. film. Pull My Daisy has also been released under the title, "The Beat Generation," and for good reason. Directed by Robert Frank (Candy Mountain and C*cksucker Blues) and featuring narration written and performed Jack Kerouac, the film presents a sympathetic portrait of beat culture at its height through the jazzy retelling of a long, rambling evening filled with literary improvisation, philosophical discussions, and playfully foolish behavior.

The amusement begins when beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso converge on the apartment of one of their friends for a day of beer drinking and poetic discourse. They soon learn that their friend and his wife are planning to host a young bishop and his family for dinner and decide to stay around until evening. As the day continues, a number of other colorful characters also drop in; when the bishop arrives, and the poets begin to goad him with their loopy yet earnest questioning of religion and other institutions, things take on the flavor of an impromptu party.

SHADOWS 1959 movie on DVD

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