Cassavetes wrestled with angels like a cinematic Jacob (industry devils, too) and for his trials was heralded the Patron Saint of independent film. His genius for the genuine disarms and overwhelms. He hurls us headlong into maelstroms of emotion unbalancing expectations and sorely testing our endurance (see the wake in Husbands or the party scenes in Faces). He challenges us to follow the fancy tonal footwork of Nick and Mabel Longhetti, constantly bobbing, weaving and turning on a dime. And beneath the brawling chaos, his profound understanding of Life as eternal process, struggle and improvisation–acting as a crucible for truth.