A Constant Forge

Synopsis: A long look at John Cassavetes's films, life (1929-1989), and exploration of how people love. The documentary is composed of Cassavetes's words spoken by an off-screen narrator, clips from his films, photos and clips of him on and off the set, and family, friends, and colleagues talking about his films and what it was like to work with him. The movie explores his focus on emotion, the way he drew out actors, his collaborative process, his energy and joie de vivre, his serious purposes, and the meaning and lasting impact of his work: how adults behave, interact, and seek love rather than how a plot works out.
Director(s): Charles Kiselyak
Production: Lagniappe
200 min

I try to find some kind

of positive way to make a world exist like a family.

Make a family-

not of us behind the camera-

not of the actors

but of the characters.

A world so that they can patrol

certain streets, patrol their house...

and know their way home.

And when they cease to know

their way home, things go wrong.

You somehow- drunk or sober,

or any other way-

you always find your way back

to where you live.

And then you get detoured.

And when you can't

find your way home...

that's when I consider

it's worth it to make a film.

'Cause that's interesting.

Mr. Sophistication...

and his De-Lovelies...

are not gonna take you to Asia.

They're not gonna take you to Europe.

They're not gonna take you

to South America.

We're gonna introduce

a new number tonight.

He's gonna take you

on a whole new trip.

And I know you're gonna enjoy it.

When I was 17,

I- I could do anything.

It was so easy. My emotions

were so close to the surface.

I'm finding it...

harder and harder

to stay in touch.

Do me a favor?

Don't be silly anymore.

Just be yourself.

But I am myself.

Who else would I be?

I'm serious.

Definition of"serious. "

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Tell me what you want me to -

how you want me to be.

I can be that.

I can be anything.

You tell me, Nicky.

John Cassavetes thought

that love was the primary emotion...

that determined almost everything

that happens in life.

He was attracted to man's need for love.

We need it like food, water and air,

but we don't know how to get it.

But that's our struggle.

And what gets in the way-

ignorance, superstition,

greed, fear, defensiveness-

Who the hell knows what it is?

But all these things get in the way

with the one thing that we all need.

And that interested him.

All John said was, "Find out

who you are and keep looking for that. "

And the only way you can do that

is to take some chances...

and stretch yourself with people.

I don't know anyone that really

loved people as much as he did.

And with a real honest... passion

and a compassion.

As far as John was concerned,

each person was a jewel, you know.

Each person in the world, really,

that he met.

And I never saw anybody

not be a jewel around John...

because he had

this celebration going on...

with everybody that he dealt with.

He had an understanding

we were all a little crazy. He knew it.

And he was able to

get us to express it.

We should be respectful of that-

that we're all a little crazy.

We're all totally, uh, unique animals...

and full of majestic potential.

But all a little crazy.

And he showed us.

He told us that.

He had another look

at the human condition.

And not based on psychology, either.

Based on a whole other thing.

A love-A love for people.

His love oflife, his love of emotion,

his love of feeling, his love of contradiction.

He was a force.

He was excited.

He was, uh -

He loved to laugh.

He enjoyed - He enjoyed people.

He enjoyed the way they made fools

of themselves. He enjoyed their struggle.

And he enjoyed trying to capture that.

That's what he wanted.

He wanted to get that on film.

So that there was very little distinction

between his life and his making of a film.

They were combined together.

When I show his films to my students...

I want them so badly to appreciate...

that it's notjust incredible filmmaking

we're coming into contact with...

but a different mode

of experiencing life-

a mode that asks deeper questions

than traditional films do.

A mode that allows for the messy,

the complicated...

the embarrassing,

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    "A Constant Forge" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Jan. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_constant_forge_5887>.

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