This page summarizes some of Ray Carney's artistic discoveries. To read an account of Ray Carney’s career and publications and about his other achievements as a scholar and intellectual, click here to go to the “About Ray Carney” pages.

Two of Ray Carney's most important recent film discoveries are finding the long-lost first version of John Cassavetes' Shadows and a long print of Faces. These discoveries are mentioned below, but to read more about them, click on this link for the Shadows story and this link for the Faces one.

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.

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Ray Carney at the Rotterdam Film Festival
Photo by Anke Teunlssen (Amsterdam) / January 2004

Ray Carney has made a name for himself as the discoverer, presenter, and popularizer of dozens of new, unknown, or lost works of art. There are too many instances to cite more than a few representative examples. As a graduate student, he discovered a previously unknown source for the first five books of William Wordsworth's poetic masterpiece, The Prelude in Reverend Joseph Simpson's Science Revived, or The Vision of Alfred, a forgotten Augustan epic. When he curated the Beat show for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Prof. Carney discovered and screened a major new work that had not been seen in more than forty years: Frank Paine's Motion Picture, a film which had never been written about before. (Click here for more information about that work.) He has discovered, introduced early screenings of, or brought to public attention previously unknown or neglected works by many American independent filmmakers, works which are now recognized and appreciated because of his championing of them – including films by Morris Engel, Lionel Rogosin, John Korty, Barbara Loden, Robert Kramer, Gordon Erikson, Charles Burnett, Mark Rappaport, and Caveh Zahedi.

Photo of Ray Carney by Randy Walker, 2007

Prof. Carney's writing on John Cassavetes, particularly in his Cassavetes on Cassavetes and Shadows books (click here for information about the first book and here for information about the second) has brought to light hundreds of previously unknown facts and events about the life of the filmmaker and completely changed the understanding of the production history of his work. Prof. Carney is the first writer to have told the complete behind-the-scenes stories of the making of all of Cassavetes' films. His greatest intellectual coup was to recount the previously unknown story of the production history of the two versions of Shadows. To the surprise of the world, he revealed that—in direct contradiction of the statement that ends the film about its being "improvised"—Cassavetes employed screenwriter Robert Alan Aurthur to "story doctor" the second version and write a series of scenes to be inserted into the movie. Many of these facts were revealed to Carney by Cassavetes himself in a "Rosebud" conversation shortly before his death as well as through interviews with the actors and crew members of the various works in the final years of their lives.

With the assistance of the Museum of Television and Radio and, in many cases, in collaboration with Jane Klain, Manager of Research Services, Prof. Carney has also discovered and revived many unknown or forgotten early television works in which Cassavetes appeared, including his virtuosic one-man performance piece on Quest's Flip Side (which was never broadcast in U.S.), his acting and directing work in Johnny Staccato (including the remarkable Double Feature episode where Cassavetes plays two roles at once) and The Lloyd Bridges Show, his zany, over-the-top performance in S. Lee Pogostin's "Free of Charge," and his acting in many other otherwise lost or forgotten television series like Burke's Law, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater, and Columbo. Prof. Carney has organized and presented the first public screenings of many of these works in recent years as well as screenings of other works by Cassavetes that have never been broadcast on television or released in theaters. For film festivals and archives, he has put together a screening event of his favorite pieces, which he calls "The Unknown John Cassavetes," and which has drawn rave reviews and standing-room-only crowds. (Click here to learn about an upcoming series of screenings of some of these works curated by Allen Glover at the Museum of Television and Radio. And click here to read more of Prof. Carney's discussion of Cassavetes' acting work in television and film and some of the screening events Prof. Carney has personally organized and presented.) The revised edition of his Cassavetes on Cassavetes has the most complete discussion of Cassavetes' television work ever assembled. (Click here to find out how to obtain this book.)

Most recently, Ray Carney made two of the most important film discoveries of the past one hundred years. He located one of the long prints of Cassavetes' Faces and two years later, after seventeen years of searching, in November 2003 found the legendary lost first version of Cassavetes' Shadows, a completely different film from the known version – in effect adding a new first film to Cassavetes' body of work and an important new work to the canon of American independent film. In January 2004, he unveiled the discovery at two standing-room only screenings at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands. The screenings attracted critics, reviewers, and scholars from around the world, and the discovery has been written up in more than 100 newspapers and magazines from Japan to Italy to the U.K. (although very little has been written about it in the U.S. where Hollywood values and interests prevail even in so-called serious cinematic writing). Prof. Carney has been besieged with requests to show the print in England, Europe, Asia, and the Far East. As part of the announcement of the discovery, he published a long piece in the London Guardian describing the quest and was interviewed by more than 20 European publications. For more information about each of these major cinematic discoveries, click on this link for Faces and this link for Shadows.

Prof. Carney recently made yet another major Cassavetes cinematic discovery that is still under wraps. It will be announced to the world in a few months. (You read it here first. This is the only notice that is being published anywhere – your reward for reading this page! Stay tuned for more information when it is released. It will appear here.)

Prof. Carney is currently completing two biographical studies that will revolutionize the understanding of Cassavetes' films and working methods: John Cassavetes on Art and Life and John Cassavetes: What is Art?, a critical/intellectual biography exploring the relation of Cassavetes' art and life. Click here to read a brief statement about the intellectual biography, if you are interested.

Contact information:

Prof. Ray Carney
Department of Film and Television
College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston University
Boston, MA 02215

Tel: 617-353-5976
E-mail: raycarney@usa.net

For a list of websites with material by or about Ray Carney, click here.

High-resolution JPG images of Prof. Carney are available here..

This page summarizes some of Ray Carney's artistic discoveries. To read an account of Ray Carney’s career and publications and about his other achievements as a scholar and intellectual, click here to go to the “About Ray Carney” pages.

Two of Ray Carney's most important recent film discoveries are finding the long-lost first version of John Cassavetes' Shadows and a long print of Faces. These discoveries are mentioned above, but to read more about them, click on this link for the Shadows story and this link for the Faces one.

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.

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