Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 50 Greatest NYC Movies — #16

Shadows (dir. John Cassavetes, 1959)

08-07 Shadows

This landmark of independent cinema, largely improvised and shot with a handheld camera, deals fearlessly with taboo subjects and styles, much in keeping with the daring nature of the city on the verge of the 60’s. Following three siblings and their relationship with the “beat scene” of 1959 Gotham, we see a time when the city’s most ordinary citizens faithfully consumed its cultural offerings in a way that mostly visitors do today: art museums, literary parties, jazz clubs, etc. Coupled with the quickly radicalizing racial politics of the time, this metropolitan odyssey feels as fresh and experimental now as upon its release.


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