Quote of the Week

Timothy Carey became known as a pioneer of underground film due to his rarely seen 1962 film, The World’s Greatest Sinner, a film in which he starred, as well as wrote, directed, and produced. Carey’s character, Clarence Hilliard, is an insurance salesman who abandons everything to become a roadside evangelist, a rock star, and soon changes his name to god and runs for president. A 1971 review in the LA Free Press makes reference to Carey’s particularly dark critique of “the always close and always dangerous alliance between religion and politics in this pie-in-God’s sky country.” […]

For both Carey and his longtime collaborator John Cassavetes, working the mainstream, mostly as secondary character actors, was just a means to their optimistic ends. All proceeds gathered on the inside served to fuel their independent projects, which they resolutely considered art. Despite their inherent critique of middle-class America and society in general, neither figured themselves as part of an underground. They expressed ambivalence toward such distinctions that would necessarily alienate them from their desired audience, and seemed to imply no doubt that the public would comprehend their innovate approach as driven by economic necessities – not underground “style.”

Lia Gangitano, “Afterword and Acknowledgements,” Dead Flowers (Vox Populi/Participant Press, 2011)

With John Cassavetes

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