This page describes Gena Rowlands's response to Prof. Carney's discovery of a long version of Faces in 2001. To read about that discovery, click here.

To read a 2008 interview with a New Zealand magazine where Ray Carney talks about Rowlands's attempts to suppress or withhold Cassavetes' manuscripts and other film prints from circulation, click here.

If Rowlands's, Ruban's, or the Library of Congress's response seems puzzling, click here to read about how money and celebrity set the priorities in American film and how money motivates many of Gena Rowlands's and Al Ruban's actions.

Another reason for Rowlands's treatment of Prof. Carney is her attempt to prevent him from telling the truth about John Cassavetes' life and work. Rowlands is devoted to perpetuating a myth about her husband's life and conduct and is resentful of Prof. Carney for not sticking to the party line. Click here for a glimpse of what Cassavetes was really like as a person and an illustration of the kinds of facts that Rowlands is retaliating against Carney for revealing. Her treatment of his Shadows and Faces finds, and her insistence that Criterion remove his name from the Cassavetes box set that he spent more than eight months helping to create are part of her attempt to silence him.

To read a chronological listing of events between 1979 and the present connected with Ray Carney's search for, discovery of, and presentation of new material by or about John Cassavetes, including a chronological listing of the attempts of Gena Rowlands's and Al Ruban's to deny or suppress Prof. Carney's finds, click here.

To read another statement about why Gena Rowlands or anyone else who acted in Cassavetes' films or someone who knew Cassavetes is not the ultimate authority on the meaning of his work or on how it should be cared for or preserved, click here.

To read about other unknown Cassavetes material (including recording studio master tapes and an unknown film by Cassavetes) Ray Carney has discovered, click here.

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Rowlands's Reponse: Suppression and Denial

Immediately after he made the Faces discovery, Prof. Ray Carney informed Gena Rowlands of his find. He admits to being stunned by her response. Rather than thanking him and expressing gratitude for his efforts in locating the print, Ms. Rowlands instructed Al Ruban to send Prof. Carney a formal letter denying him permission to screen the film at the Library of Congress for the general public and instructing him that he was forbidden to write about or announce the discovery of it. Ruban and Rowlands simultaneously contacted the Library of Congress and told them that they were not to conduct sceenings of the print or make an announcement of the discovery. If you are under the illusion that the Library of Congress serves the interest of the general public, and is above being manipulated by celebrities to serve their own private interests, you may be surprised to learn that they instantly agreed to Rowlands's demand that the discovery be suppressed. Anyone who thinks that the Library's highest goal is to make available to the public the greatest and best works of the past is mistaken. Money, power, and celebrity set the agenda in those hallowed halls just as much as they do in the rest of American culture. No announcement was made. No screenings were held. (Click here for more information about how the Library of Congress suppressed the discovery to kow-tow to Rowlands.)

Prof. Carney spent the next year attempting to try to persuade Ms. Rowlands to give him permission to announce the discovery and agree to allow him to write about the film and, if possible, make it available for scholarly study by others. After a year of attempts to make her change her mind, two things became clear: first that Rowlands refused to re-think what she had done; and second that the result of her edict that the film neither be screened nor written about by Prof. Carney was, effectively, to suppress it and deny its existence. If Prof. Carney could not even announce the discovery to the world, let alone write an essay about it, no one would ever know of its existence. It would stay lost. It might as well not have been discovered in the first place. At that point, having exhausted every other avenue available to him to persuade Ms. Rowlands otherwise, Prof. Carney went forward with issuing the preceding press release, announcing the film's existence to the world.

Ms. Rowlands's response to Prof. Carney's discovery of the first version of Shadows a year or two later would be a virtual repeat of the above story. Discovery; announcement to Rowlands; insistence that the film not be shown, written about, or made available for study.

In both cases (as in several earlier instances), when she found that she could not control Prof. Carney or enlist his agreement in suppressing his discoveries, Ms. Rowlands would retaliate in every way she could—by blackballing him from attending film festivals and Cassavetes events, by having her business manager Al Ruban launch personal attacks on Carney's work and reputation, by attempting to censor Carney's work on the Criterion box set, and by instructing Peter Becker, the head of Criterion, to fire him when she could not control him in any other way. (The fact that Peter Becker would go along with this attempt speaks for itself about his own character and values.) It's not art, it's film. Money, fame, power, celebrity talk; anyone merely interested in telling the truth is a fool.

(To read more about Al Ruban's dirty tricks and Rowlands's shabby treatment of and attempts to silence Prof. Carney and prevent him from writing or speaking about Cassavetes, click here.)

This page describes Gena Rowlands's response to Prof. Carney's discovery of a long version of Faces in 2001. To read about that discovery, click here.

To read a 2008 interview with a New Zealand magazine where Ray Carney talks about Rowlands's attempts to suppress or withhold Cassavetes' manuscripts and other film prints from circulation, click here.

If Rowlands's, Ruban's, or the Library of Congress's response seems puzzling, click here to read about how money and celebrity set the priorities in American film and how money motivates many of Gena Rowlands's and Al Ruban's actions.

Another reason for Rowlands treatment of Prof. Carney is her attempt to prevent him from telling the truth about John Cassavetes' life and work. Rowlands is devoted to perpetuating a myth about her husband's life and conduct and resentful of Prof. Carney for not sticking to the party line. Click here for a glimpse of what Cassavetes was really like as a person and an illustration of the kinds of facts that Rowlands is retaliating against Carney for revealing. Her treatment of his Shadows and Faces finds, and her insistence that Criterion remove his name from the Cassavetes box set that he spent more than eight months helping to create are part of her attempt to silence him.

To read a chronological listing of events between 1979 and the present connected with Ray Carney's search for, discovery of, and presentation of new material by or about John Cassavetes, including a chronological listing of the attempts of Gena Rowlands's and Al Ruban's to deny or suppress Prof. Carney's finds, click here.

To read another statement about why Gena Rowlands or anyone else who acted in Cassavetes' films or someone who knew Cassavetes is not the ultimate authority on the meaning of his work or on how it should be cared for or preserved, click here.

To read about other unknown Cassavetes material (including recording studio master tapes and an unknown film by Cassavetes) Ray Carney has discovered, click here.

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Text Copyright 2004 by Ray Carney. All rights reserved. May not be reprinted without written permission of the author.