Independence is a crucial part of the legend of John Cassavetes, the original Method actor turned DIY filmmaker. For that reason his early forays into studio directing — he made 1961’s “Too Late Blues” for Paramount and 1963’s Stanley Kramer-produced “A Child Is Waiting” for United Artists — are usually thought of as footnotes at best, or compromised failures at worst (a view that has been ascribed to Cassavetes himself).
But even in these minor works, the Cassavetes touch — the delicate way of handling emotional messiness, the tough but ultimately generous view of human behavior — is unmistakable. The rarely seen “Too Late Blues,” new to DVD from Olive Films, is an especially resonant work, a parable about the price of artistic independence and the conflicts of ego and idealism — in other words, something like a confessional manifesto from the emerging director, 31 when he made it. Read More »