(Richard Shepard, 2009)
Nice little documentary on the career of John Cazale, whose body of work might be the most consistently high-quality of any actor ever. He co-starred in 5 films – The Godfather I & II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter, then died in 1978 before the last of those films had even been released. Shepard’s documentary is basically just a load of (excellent) clips of Cazale being brilliant cut with interviews with his many legendary co-stars and friends.
But it really does help that those friends include the likes of Al Pacino, Meryl Streep (Cazale’s girlfriend in the last years of his life), Robert DeNiro, Sydney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola and John Savage, and that the clips are from some of the greatest American movies of the 1970s. And it doesn’t hurt either that Shepard interviews articulate contemporary character actors like Sam Rockwell, Phillp Seymour Hoffman and Steve Buscemi on Cazale’s influence and impact.
It might feel a little like a glorified dvd special feature, but it does justice to the talent of an extraordinary actor and made me want to watch each of his flms again, which seems like mission accomplished.