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Primary Sources

Scripts: Published screenplays. Both have prefaces written by Cassavetes. Faces also has a few words by collaborator Al Ruban.

  • Faces (New York: New American Library, 1970).
  • Minnie and Moskowitz (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1973).


  • "What's Wrong with Hollywood," Film Culture no.19, p 4-5.
  • "Maybe There Really Wasn't an America," Daily Variety, October 27, 1970.

American Film Institute (AFI) Dialogues: Transcriptions of conversations Cassavetes had with students at The American Film Institute. Very worthwhile.

  • AFI Dialogue on Film, No. 4: John Cassavetes and Peter Falk, Los Angeles: AFI, 1971.
  • The American Film Institute Seminar with John Cassavetes December 18, 1973 (Los Angeles: AFI, 1978).

Interviews: Cassavetes gave a lot of interviews – way too many to list all of them – but here's three you might not have seen that are especially worth searching out:

  • Millimeter v3,n3. March 1975, p26-31.
  • Filmmaker's Newsletter v8,n3. Jan 1975, p23-27.
  • Cinema v4,n1. Spring 1968, p24-27.

Secondary Sources

Ray Carney's writings on John Cassavetes are by far the most extensive and authoritative. Dr. Carney has published widely – to list all his work is beyond the scope of this page. Therefore, we suggest that you begin (or continue!) your studies with one of his books on Cassavetes (he's published six!) or with the PostScript issue that he guest edited. All of this material is available for sale on this web site.

  • The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies (Cambridge)

  • John Cassavetes: The Adventure of Insecurity: A Pocket Guide to the Films (Company C)

  • Cassavetes on Cassavetes: A Life in Art (Faber and Faber)

  • Shadows (BFI/University of California)

  • "Special Issue: John Cassavetes." PostScript: Essays in Film and the Humanities Vol. 11 Number 2 (Winter 1992). Guest editor: Ray Carney

All of Carney's writings are loaded with photographs (many of which you see on this site), quotations, and provocative scholarship. They also include bibliographies that are indespensible if you're looking for more writings about Cassavetes.

A Partial Listing of Ray Carney's
Writing on John Cassavetes 1981-2002

Carney, Ray, "Minnie and Moskowitz," in Frank N. Magill, ed, Magill's Survey of Cinema, Second Series, Vol. 4—1981. La Canada, California: Salem Press, pp. 1594-7.

----."A Woman Under the Influence," in Frank N. Magill, ed., Magill's Survey of Cinema, Second Series., Vol.6 Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 1981, pp. 2711-14.

----."Love Streams," in Ellen Reinig, ed, Magill's Cinema Annual—1985. La Canada, California: Salem Press, 1985, pp. 293-302.

----. "Mikey and Nicky," in Ellen Reinig, ed, Magill's Cinema Annual—1985. La Canada, California: Salem Press, 1985, pp. 576-580.

----.American Dreaming: The Films of John Cassavetes and the American Experience, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985, pp. 20-62.

----."The Killing of a Chinese Bookie," in Frank N. Magill, ed, Magill's Cinema Annual—1987. Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 1987, pp. 549-557.

----."Gloria," in Frank N. Magill, ed, Magill's Cinema Annual—1988. Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 1988, pp. 458-462.

----."Love's Dreams: Love Streams and the Films of John Cassavetes," Persistence of Vision (City University of New York) No. 6 (Summer 1988), pp. 41-66.

----. "Complex Characters," "Unfinished Business," and "A Note on Big Trouble" for the special section on the life and work of John Cassavetes, Film Comment, Vol. 25, May-June 1989, pp. 30-33, 48-49.

----. "Waking Up in the Dark: Learning from John Cassavetes," program essay for the 1989 United States Film Festival (the precursor to the Sundance Film Festival), the Sundance Institute, Park City, Utah, January 1989; reprinted in The Alaska Quarterly Review, vol. 8, no. 3-4 (Spring-Summer 1990), pp. 123-33.

----. Program notes to accompany the screenings of the films of John Cassavetes, at the French-American Film Workshop, printed in the Sixth Annual Program. Avignon, France, July, 1989.

----. The Films of John Cassavetes. Souvenir program and screening notes to accompany the national tour of twelve John Cassavetes films (including Mikey and Nicky), organized by the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) and the Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley), touring to fifteen cities between September 1989 and October 1990. 8 pages (program), 88 pages (screening notes).

----. "The Energizing Spirit," and brief film notes about the films of John Cassavetes, published in the Harvard Film Archive Bulletin, September-October 1989, pp. 2-4.

----. "Learning from John Cassavetes," Switch magazine (Tokyo, Japan) for their special issue on the life and work of John Cassavetes, Special Issue #3, January 1990

----.An interview with Ray Carney, printed in the UCLA Film and Television Archive Calendar, February/March 1990, pp. 4-5.

----. "The Adventure of Insecurity: The Films of John Cassavetes," The Kenyon Review 13, no. 2 (Spring 1991), 102-21. (Co-recipient of the prize award for "best essay of the year by an emerging writer.")

----. John Cassavetes: Autoportraits, Paris: Editions de ètoile/Cahiers du Cinema, 1992. (Translated into French by Serge Grunberg from my manuscript. No English language publication.)

----. "The Road Not Taken: A Polemical Introduction," and "Seven Program Notes for the American Tour of the Complete Films: Faces, Husbands, Minnie and Moskowitz, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night, and Love Streams," in "The John Cassavetes Special Issue," edited by Ray Carney, in Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities, Vol. 11, no. 2 (Winter 1992), pp. 1-12 and 37-100.

----."John Cassavetes: Allegro con brio," in The Greek Influence on World Cinema, the program of the Greek-American Film Festival, John Pyros, ed. (Tarpon Springs, Florida: 1993), pp. 22-25.

----."Prophet Without Honor," The Boston Phoenix, February 28, 1992, Section 3, pp. 1,6.

----. "John Cassavetes on Life and Art," Visions Magazine (Boston Center for the Arts), Number 7, Summer 1992, pp. 22-29.

----. "Ray Carney's Rules of the Game," Visions Magazine (Boston Center for the Arts), Number 10, Summer 1993, pp. 10-15 and 48-9.

----. The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism and the Movies, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 27-73. (Translated into Hungarian.)

----."Meanings in Motion," The Boston Book Review, Volume 1, number 2 (Winter 1994), p. 36.

----. "Escape Velocity: Notes on Beat Film," "No Exit: John Cassavetes' Shadows," and "The Beat Movement in Film: A Comprehensive Screening List," in Lisa Phillips, ed. Beat Culture and the New America 1950-1965, pp. 235-241. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art in association with Flammarion, 1995, pp. 190-209; 210-213; 235-243.

----. Love on the Edge (A Souvenir Program) containing program notes for Shadows, Faces, Husbands, A Woman Under the Influence, and Opening Night. Organized by Miramax Films to support the opening of Nick Cassavetes' She's So Lovely, touring to four cities in the United States, New York: Miramax Films, 1996, 26 pages.

----. "Two Forms of Cinematic Modernism: Notes Towards a Pragmatic Aesthetic," In A Modern Mosaic: Essays on Modernism in American Modernism, ed. Townsend Ludington, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, pp. 385-435.

----. Laserdisc liner notes and DVD-booklets to accompany the video releases of Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence, Faces, Shadows, Opening Night, and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (Pioneer Special Projects/Pioneer Electronics), 1998-99.

----. John Cassavetes: The Adventure of Insecurity (A Pocket Guide to the Films), Boston: Company C Publishing, 2001, pp. 10-15.

----. Cassavetes on Cassavetes, London and New York: Faber and Faber, 2001.

----. Shadows, London: British Film Institute, and Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2001.

----. "A new experience? Oh, no! Anything but that!"—The Rediscovery of Cassavetes' Work, The London Daily Telegraph, February 27, 2001.

----. "An interview with Ray Carney by Jim McKay," Filmmaker Magazine, Fall 2001

----. "An interview with Ray Carney by Jake Mahaffy," Cinemad Magazine, February 2002

----. "Art and Commerce: An interview with Ray Carney by Diane Cherkerzian," (unpublished)

----. "Art, Life, Hollywood, Independent Film, Critics, Professors, and How to Make a Fortune in Real Estate: An Interview with Ray Carney by Shelley Friedman," published in a shortened and edited form in MovieMaker in Summer and Fall 2002.

----. "Cassavetes and Rowlands at the Virginia Film Festival: An interview with Ray Carney by Mary Alice Blackwell," The Daily Progress Newspaper (Charlottesville, Virginia) October 2001.

----. "An interview with Ray Carney by Cynthia Rockwell" posted on:

----. Why Art Matters, 2001 (available on Miscellaneous interviews and essays by Ray Carney about Cassavetes and independent film.

----.Uncollected Essays about John Cassavetes (available on Essays by Ray Carney about Cassavetes, including the prize-winning Kenyon Review memorial piece.

----. John Cassavetes: Interviews (University of Mississippi Press, forthcoming, 2003).

----. John Cassavetes: A Life in Art. Two volumes, 2003 (available on

----. Necessary Experiences, 2003 (available on Miscellaneous interviews and essays by Ray Carney about Cassavetes and independent film.

----. What's Wrong with Film Study and Criticism ... and Everything Else, 2003 (available on Miscellaneous interviews and essays by Ray Carney about Cassavetes and independent film.

----. The John Cassavetes Pages (url:—a web site dedicated to John Cassavetes, independent film, and other art, 1999-2003 and continuing.

A Bibliographical Caution

Because of Cassavetes' tendency to embellish the truth in interviews, the unreliability of the standard film reference sources, and the gullibility of or casualness of many of the writers who have written about Cassavetes' films, much of the writing falls below normal standards of accuracy for professional research. The reader is cautioned in particular that many books about Cassavetes, particularly those published in French, are riddled with errors.


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