The Haircut (Tamar Simon Hoffs, 1982) A true gem of a film … you either get it or you don’t. If you get it, you never forget it. For a better quality video pick up a copy of Tamar Hoff’s “The Allnighter” on DVD, it includes “The Haircut” as a bonus feature.
The Haircut also features a short performance by ‘The Bangs’ a predecessor to the all-girl group ‘The Bangles’
“It’s spare and lyrical and funny and profane and painful. It’s Cassavetes. And there’s a reason: I recall how we all didn’t get him at first. He was an actor, not a director. Was he making home movies? Why was there all that … disconnection? The holding back, the pauses, the erasures! Very un-studio. But actors got it right away. They lined up to work for Cassavetes for scale. They knew what he was erasing. The act. The boiled cabbage acting of the studios. Because, real life has many secrets. (excerpt from Swimming to Cassavetes by Ben Pleasants).
In the Spring of 1982, he (Cassavetes) spent a long weekend acting in a twenty-minute student film, The Haircut, written and directed by a UCLA film student, Tamar Simon Hoffs. Hoffs originally wanted Ben Gazzara to star in it (since his daughter Elizabeth was producing the film and working on the crew); but Gazzara wasn’t free. When he asked Cassavetes if he would take his place, to Hoff’s surprise, Cassavetes accepted as a favor to Elizabeth. The result is a charming, zany fantasy, a performance piece in a barbershop. (excerpt from Carney’s Cassavetes on Cassavetes)