Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cassavetes on Failure

“The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to. As an artist, I feel that we must try many things - but above all we must dare to fail. You must be willing to risk everything to really express it all.” - John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes is most notable as a pioneer of American independent film. His films are noted for their use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style.

John was certainly a great force in the Acting and Film Arts, though perhaps unseen by most until later, except by those closest to him. Vulnerability is intrinsic in what we do in the Media and Entertainment Arts. We open ourselves to the slings and arrows of frequently, those less knowledgeable, insightful, and compassionate, for what we do. But when it all comes together what comes out of it is simply amazing. We go through years of enduring painful efforts, to fail repeatedly and continue to pick ourselves up and try again. It is journey that is a sharpening stone that hones one's abilities and capabilities to the cutting edge for what we our Art is. And the public reaps the benefits of those efforts, in the end, being the culmination of what and why we do it.

For those who these are not the reasons for why they do it, there will always be those many who have and will fall by the wayside in giving up and being dashed on the rocks of critical deconstruction, never arriving at that coveted destination of critical acclaim. Sadly, for some, that will only come years after their demise; but I would argue, it is still worth the effort.

That being said, family and friends, loved ones must have a pinnacle of consideration in those years of trial and effort. Or it can cause you the pain and emptiness leading to a premature end that it has brought to many before you. Live life, love others, be open, be honest, be heartfelt in all your efforts and let those that love you have a place in that life, a hard life though it can be. In that way, even if you were never to achieve your dreams, you will have a life there to fall back upon in a cocoon of care, appreciation and affection.
December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989
About Cassavetes: "An alcoholic, Cassavetes died from cirrhosis of the liver in 1989 at the age of 59. He was survived by wife Gena Rowlands and three children (Nick, Alexandra and Zoe). Cassavetes's son, Nick Cassavetes, followed in his father's footsteps as an actor and director. In 1997, Nick Cassavetes made the film She's So Lovely from the She's Delovely screenplay his father had written. The film starred Sean Penn, as John Cassavetes had wanted. Alexandra Cassavetes directed the documentary, Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession in 2004 and in 2006 served as 2nd Unit Director on her brother Nick's film Alpha Dog. John Cassavetes's younger daughter, Zoe Cassavetes, wrote and directed the 2007 film, Broken English, featuring Rowlands and Parker Posey." - Wikipedia

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