John Cassavetes December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989

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When I hear the term “independent filmmaker,” I immediately think of John Cassavetes. He was the most independent of them all. For me, he was and still is a guide and teacher. Without his support and advice, I don’t know what would have become of me as a filmmaker. The question, ‘What is an independent filmmaker?’ has nothing to do with being inside or outside of the industry or whether you live in New York or Los Angeles. It’s about determination and strength, having the passion to say something that’s so strong that no one or nothing can stop you. Whenever I meet a young director who is looking for guidance and advice, I tell him or her to look to the example of John Cassavetes, a source of the greatest strength. John made it possible for me to think that you could actually make a movie—which is crazy, because it’s an enormous endeavor, and you only realize how enormous when you’re doing it. But by then it’s too late.

Nothing could have stopped Cassavetes except God, and He eventually did. John died much too soon, but his films and his example are still very much alive. He once said, “You can’t be afraid of anyone or anything if you want to make a movie.” It’s that simple. You have to be as tough as he was. He was a force of nature. — Martin Scorsese

independent filmmaker

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"When I hear the term “independent filmmaker,” I immediately think of John Cassavetes. He was the most independent of them all. For me, he was and still is a guide and teacher. Without his support and advice, I don’t know what would have be…come of me as a filmmaker. The question, ‘What is an independent filmmaker?’ has nothing to do with being inside or outside of the industry or whether you live in New York or Los Angeles. It’s about determination and strength, having the passion to say something that’s so strong that no one or nothing can stop you. Whenever I meet a young director who is looking for guidance and advice, I tell him or her to look to the example of John Cassavetes, a source of the greatest strength. John made it possible for me to think that you could actually make a movie—which is crazy, because it’s an enormous endeavor, and you only realize how enormous when you’re doing it. But by then it’s too late.
Nothing could have stopped Cassavetes except God, and He eventually did. John died much too soon, but his films and his example are still very much alive. He once said, “You can’t be afraid of anyone or anything if you want to make a movie.” It’s that simple. You have to be as tough as he was. He was a force of nature. "
(Martin Scorsese)

Ebert & Scorsese:

 Best Films of the 1990s. Guest critic: Martin Scorsese. Air Date: 2/26/00

ROGER EBERT: At the end of the first century of film, one of America’s greatest filmmakers joins me to select the top ten films of the 1990s. I’m Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. And on this special edition, I’ll be joined by the director whose films "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" were voted by many groups as the best films of the 1970s and the 1980s.

MARTIN SCORSESE: I’m Martin Scorsese. Hello. And thank you Roger for bringing me back to Chicago and the snow.

ROGER: You know, in the film business we kind of came in together because at my first Chicago film festival, in 1967, I reviewed your first film. And I predicted in that article that you would be a great director, and boy, was I right! And on today’s show, we’re going to review the top four films on our separate lists, and then list our top ten films of the decade.

The Aviator

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Martin Scorsese designed each year in the film to look just the way a color film from that time period would look. Achieved mainly through digitally enhanced post-production, Scorsese recreated the look of Cinecolor and two-strip Technicolor. Watch in particular for the scene where Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) meets Errol Flynn (Jude Law) in the club. Hughes is served precisely placed peas on a plate, and they appear blue or turquoise – just as they’d have looked in the primitive two-strip Technicolor process. As Hughes ages throughout the film, the color gets more sophisticated and full-bodied.