“There is a great need in the cinema for truthfulness, but truth is not necessarily sordid and not necessarily downbeat. Unfortunately, the art films have dealt mainly with the evils of society. But society is more interesting than rape or murder. I think you can do more through positive action than in pointing out the foibles and stupidities of man. Yes, any man is capable of killing any other man, we know that, we don’t have to stress that. To say that it’s right and normal, to continue to say it, to have society and the Establishment confirm that view, is wrong.
Art films reach for the most obvious fallacies of society, such as racial prejudice. That’s been a fault of the art film – devoting itself to human ills, human weaknesses. An artist has a responsibility not to dwell on this and point it up, but to find hope for this age and see that it wins occasionally. Pictures are supposed to clarify people’s emotions, to explain the feelings of people on an emotional plane. An art film should not preclude laughter, enjoyment and hope. Is life about horror? Or is it about those few moments we have? I would like to say that my life has some meaning.
I think that there are certainly many, many wonderful things to be written about in this day and age of disillusionment and horror and impending doom. We must take a more positive stand in making motion pictures, and have a few more laughs, and treat life with a little more hope than we have in the past. Shadows is a realistic drama with hope – a hopeful picture about a lower echelon of society in the United States – how they live, how they react. The people are hopeful. They have some belief. I believe in people.”
-John Cassavetes, Cassavetes on Cassavetes: The Making of Shadows