Ray Carney Moment of the Day #1

June 13, 2011

Shadows

“The final challenge of Cassavetes’ world is that there can be no rest stops on this journey. The ideal of freedom that his characters aspire to, and that he embraces, requires continuous, energetic renewal. For a creative responder, to stop noticing and responding even for a moment is to begin to die, since there is no role or pose that can be merely inherited or received from outside of oneself. Even more frightening, every past creative gesture becomes an implicit limitation on future creative moments. What starts out as creative and original forever runs the danger of becoming formulaic and mechanical. The performed self inhabits an eternal present. It must keep responding, changing, moving away from past stances and roles. The Cassavetean performer is open-ended and prospective, yet the stimulating, liberating liquidity of his experience is always on the brink of crystallizing into the rigidity of a confining pattern. This takes us to the heart of darkness in Cassavetes’ imagination. He imagines a world in upheaval, a world of continuous imaginative compositions and decompositions, a world in which mechanical formulas everywhere threaten fluid imaginative ideals. That is the drama underneath the drama in all of Cassavetes’ work. Cassavetes’ world is exciting precisely for the same reasons that it is dangerous. Indeed the pulse beat of his vision of life is that one aspect of the situation is inextricable from the other. We are continuously breaking free and just as continuously losing our freedom.”

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