6 September 2013 3:07 PM, PDT | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

Blu-ray Release Date: Oct. 22, 2013

Price: Blu-ray $124.95

Studio: Criterion

John Cassavetes—genius, visionary, and the progenitor of American independent film—receives some high-definition respect from Criterion in the John Cassavetes: Five Films collection.

A former theater actor fascinated by the power of improvisation, Cassavetes brought his search for truth in performance to the screen. The five films in this anthology of dramas—all of which the director maintained total control over by financing them himself and making them outside the studio system—are electrifying and compassionate creations, populated by all manner of humanity: beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, children.

Cassavetes has often been called an actor’s director, but this body of work—even greater than the sum of its extraordinary parts—shows him to be an audience’s director.

Here’s a breakdown of the movies:

Lelia Goldoni and Anthony Ray star in John Cassavetes' 1959 directorial debut Shadows. »

- Laurence

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