Friday, April 13, 2007

Getting Annoyed with Ray Carney

About a year ago, Boston-based John Cassavetes scholar Ray Carney started mentioning on his homepage that he had news of a major Cassavetes discovery forthcoming. I've periodically checked in with his site time and again, waiting for news. Well, he's finally dropped a hint. Quoth Carney,
Here's something I already mentioned on a couple of earlier Mailbag pages, but
very few people seem to have noticed it. Guess what? There is an unknown
Cassavetes film that no one knows about. Yes, a new film, something he wrote and
directed. And it's quite extraordinary. (And I'm not referring to the first
version of Shadows or the alternate print of Faces; they are something else.)
But that's all I'll say about it for now...

Great, Ray, thanks. Along with the alternate versions of Shadows and Faces, Cassavetes' unpublished novel for Husbands, and countless other items he alludes to at the above link, there's one more item of Cassavetes' work that you can only access if you a) are a student of Ray's, b) suck up to him really hard, or c) pay him to fly to your film festival to screen it. In this case, he won't even tell us what it is until he is good and ready (ooh, the power that must make him feel). In his published writings, Carney is pretty vituperative about careerism and egomania in the film world, but you start to get the feeling he's got several of his own little agendas, none of which really have a lot to do with contributing to objective film scholarship. He's about as unlikely to release control of Cassavetes' legacy as Gena Rowlands is; his association with Cassavetes is, after all, his greatest (only?) claim to fame and importance. Frankly, Ray and Gena start to seem like they deserve each other...

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