John Cassavetes directs his first film and establishes himself as a pioneer of Independent American Cinema

With his film “Shadows,” Greek-descended actor and director John Cassavetes won the Critics’ Award at the 1960 Venice Film Festival. As an actor, he participated in Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and Robert Aldrich’s “Dirty Dozen” (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in a Supporting Role). His rebellious personality and his desire to realize his dream led to friction with the Hollywood establishment. At the same time film critics praised and accepted him for his impromptu style, which he borrowed from cinéma verité.

In 1968 he directed possibly his best film “Faces,” which was a nominee in three categories at the Academy Awards, for the performances of Lynn Carlin and John Marley and Cassavetes’ script. In 1975 he was nominated again for Best Director for “A woman under the influence.” In 1978 he acted with Kirk Douglas in Brian De Palma’s “The Fury,” and his film “Love Streams” received the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.