March 18, 2004

C is for Cassavetes

John Cassavetes' Shadows, the perfect toold for improving your new baby's cinematic visionNewborn children's vision progresses through several phases as it develops. For the first few months, anyway, a baby can only focus a couple of feet away.

Health experts recommend making a lot of close eye contact and giving the kid a big old smiling face to focus on. They also suggest exposing the kid to high-contrast colors and black-and-white images rather than pastels, especially in the early months. [Even the completely objective purveyors of red, black & white toys at say so; it must be true.]

Following this advice, I sat our kid down to watch the 1959 b&w film that marked the birth of the American Independent movement, John Cassavetes first feature, Shadows.

I know the version we all know is the second version, and that a lone print of Cassavetes' original cut was just discovered and shown in Rotterdam for the first time in 46 years. But hey, at three weeks old, what does the kid know, right? And besides, it's only a few weeks before she's watching Finding Nemo 24/7.

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