John Cassavetes Richard Combs - Essay

Richard Combs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Opening Night] is in many ways the logical extension and distillation of John Cassavetes' treatment of the actor as prime subject and co-creator of his films: a play-within-a-film story that never bothers to make too close a distinction between actress Myrtle Gordon's working out of her problems with a distasteful role on stage and Gena Rowlands' own experimentation with the part of Myrtle. As usual with Cassavetes' films, there is a lack of self-consciousness about the layering of ironies on art imitating life, and vice versa…. Since film-making is treated not as a form that mediates in life, but as 'life' itself, both the on- and off-stage events become equally raw material, each a possible permutation of...

(The entire section is 574 words.)