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Martin Scorsese On John Cassavetes

He picks six filmmakers whose bold risks changed cinema.

"Cassavetes wiped away the old vocabulary of doing films. A lot of this came from his New York actors, the street-life sound, and from the ability the new lightweight equipment gave the filmmaker. When I saw Shadows, with the camera right in that house giving such a direct communication with the human experience, with conflict and love and all of this, it was as if there were no camera there at all, as if you were living with these people. Once we saw that, we all realized that you can't sit around and talk about making a film, you gotta just go do it. He exemplifies independence: Don't be taken in by them. Do what you feel, what you feel in your heart. Don't be cut down. He was like an uncle in the way he talked to you about this."

A version of this article appeared in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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