Close-up on John Cassavetes: Opening Night
It's a close-up on the works of indie trailblazer John Cassavetes at Close-Up Film Centre these next few weeks, and we're taking the opportunity to revisit one of our favourites: Opening Night. Before Gena Rowland was the old Allie in The Notebook, she was a screen siren and Cassavetes' muse in many a film. Here, she stars as a Broadway actress who must confront the reality that she's approaching the autumn of her life (and as we all know, showbiz doesn't take too kindly to ageing actresses). A tragic incident forces her to confront her own personal and professional angsts, giving Ms Rowland plenty of material to deliver this show-stopping performance. Always a bit of a Maverick, Cassavetes filmed segments in front of a live audience, and shows them reacting to the film in real time as various scenes are being played out. It's an emotional rollercoaster and compelling from start to finish.