For most kids, the dinner table is a place to wage elbow war against siblings and generally unleash the day’s pent-up aggression. But for director Zoé Cassavetes—the youngest child of actor-filmmaker John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands—childhood mealtimes were spent playing “the casting game.” “Most of the conversation was about movies—surprise, surprise!” says Cassavetes, who wittily describes her cinema-saturated upbringing as “film school 101 with John Cassavetes.” “My dad was a workaholic, but he was also like an encyclopedia,” she continues. “And because of Z Channel [an early pay cable channel that screened a wide range of arthouse and classic films in the 70s and 80s ] we’d watch everything from the C. Thomas Howell festival to Akira Kurosawa.” Given this background, it’s hardly a surprise that all of the Cassavetes children—who as actors and helpers were often involved in their father’s work—went into film. Zoé’s siblings, Nick and Xan, are both actor-directors, while she completed her first feature film, Broken English, starring Parker Posey and her mother, in 2007. “I was always into writing scripts,” she says. “I don’t want the studios to tell me how to make my films. So I guess I’m really my father’s daughter.” In today's short film, which Cassavetes created exclusively for NOWNESS, she takes her directors' eye on a romp through London, playing a game of hide and seek from Bond Street—and its new Louis Vuitton Maison—all the way to Hampstead Heath (via a couple of so-London-it-hurts scarlet phonebooths). “I was looking at pictures online and I just found this tree on the Heath,” says the director. “The idea was to do something celebrating London, and I wanted to make a story that I could put this tree in.” Luckily for her (and her puckish, Vuitton-clad models), she missed out on one British tradition: getting soaked. “It was the first time I'd been where there was great weather!”
to see Zoé Cassavetes’s choice of top ten style-inspiring films.