Monday, November 8, 2010

Circle of Trust #3: I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009)

If this is your first foray into this series, the gist of it is these are my reviews of the films distributed through Oscilloscope Laboratories and which I receive by being a member of the Circle of Trust. Here is a link to my first review to see what they're all about. This time I'm taking a look at I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale.

I first heard about I Knew It Was You shortly before its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year and have been looking forward to seeing it ever since. I've really enjoyed Cazale's work ever since the first time I saw The Godfather. By the the time I saw The Godfather Part 2, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter, and The Conversation he had become one of my favorite actors. Due to the extremely niche market of the film, I knew I was in for a long wait for the film to make its way to me. Thanks to the awesome people at Oscilloscope that wait has ended and come tomorrow (11/9/10) this film while be available for purchase, but as a Circle of Trust member my wait ended last week.

I Knew It Was You tells the about the career of cult-favorite actor John Cazale, better known to the world as Fredo Corleone from The Godfather, through interviews with the phenomenal talent he worked with, the modern actors he has inspired, and the loved ones he spent his time with. Shedding the normal bio-documentary take of telling one's life story, this film shows the effect John had on everything he touched and is as personal and sweet as he himself is usually described. This fitting tribute to Mr. Cazale continues on into the bonus features on this DVD.

Starting us off is an audio commentary for the film done by the director Richard Shepard. If you have any question about the film, its pretty much answered in here from why he started the project to why someone isn't interviewed in the film. Next, is two extended interviews of which excerpts were shown in the film. The first is with Al Pacino, in which he tells few more personal stories, and the second is with Israel Horowitz, a playwright who often cast John which contains the full eulogy he wrote for him. Last and probably most hilarious are two shorts John worked on in the sixties, The American Way (which he acted in) and The Box (which he shot), both I had never seen before and plan to revisit often.

Another solid pick up from Oscilloscope, I give this film (and DVD) 4 out of 5 stars. Some might justify it as only a rental, complaining of its length (another issue addressed in the audio commentary) but its a must own for any John Cazale fan. As previously mentioned, it officially goes on sale tomorrow. Below are a few links to make sure you don't miss out on it.

The synopsis of I Knew It Was You on Oscilloscope's site (You should also be able to purchase it from here soon)

Add I Knew It Was You to your Netflix Queue

Win a copy of this DVD from the A.V. Club

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