The Shadow of The West, written by Edward Said. (1986)
Edward Said focuses on the plight of the Palestinians which can be seen as the most enduring residue of the modern encounter between the Arabs and the West. Said traces the course of European involvement with the Near East via the Crusades to Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt and the French and English entrepreneurs, adventurers and empire builders who came in his wake.
"Gena is subtle, delicate. She’s a miracle. She’s straight. She believes in what she believes in. She’s capable of anything. Give her anything and she’ll always be creative. She doesn’t try to make it different – she just is – because the way she thinks is different from the way most actors think. On every film that we’ve ever made, she has enormous trepidations before she goes out and acts, but it’s not because she can’t act, but because she doesn’t know whether she’s capable of speaking for a bunch of women who are childless, and she wants to represent them truthfully. She wants to represent the people she’s playing with some authenticity as to what they are feeling, what they would feel in a certain circumstance and in a way that not many actresses do. She’s an artist, and her holdbacks are her pain. I mean, she went through a tremendous amount of pain thinking she’s not good enough to play these things. Once she starts going she forgets ‘I’m not good enough’ and the scenes hold her in check and she just keeps on going as long as she can. She goes in and she says, ‘Who do I like on this picture? What characters do I like, what characters am I so-so about?’ I picked up her script once and I saw all these notes, all about what reaction she had to the various people both in the production and the story. It was very personal to her, and I felt very guilty that I’d snooped. Then I watched her work. She sets the initial premise and follows the script very completely. Very rarely will she improvise, though she does in her head and in her personal thoughts. Everybody else is going boom! boom! boom!, but Gena is very dedicated and pure. She doesn’t care if it’s cinematic, doesn’t care where the camera is, doesn’t care if she looks good – doesn’t care about anything except that you believe her.” — John Cassavetes
Virginia Cathryn Rowlands (June 19, 1930) Happy Birthday Gena Rowlands