In Hollywood, more often than not, they’re making more kind of traditional films, stories that are understood by people. And the entire story is understood. And they become worried if even for one small moment something happens that is not understood by everyone. But what’s so fantastic is to get down into areas where things are abstract and where things are felt, or understood in an intuitive way that, you can’t, you know, put a microphone to somebody at the theatre and say ‘Did you understand that?’ but they come out with a strange, fantastic feeling and they can carry that, and it opens some little door or something that’s magical and that’s the power that film has.
“I’m convinced we all are voyeurs. It’s part of the detective thing. We want to know secrets and we want to know what goes on behind those windows. And not in a way that we would use to hurt anyone. There’s an entertainment value to it, but at the same time we want to know: What do humans do? Do they do the same things as I do? It’s a gaining of some sort of knowledge, I think.”
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, New York City, 1977
by Sylvia Plachy
December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989
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
“to have a philosophy is to know how to love and to know where to put it. but you can’t put it everywhere. you’ve gotta be a priest saying, ‘yes, my son, yes, my daughter, bless you’. but people don’t live that way. they live with anger and hostility and problems and lack of money, lack of - you know, tremendous disappointments in their life. so what they need is a philosophy. i think what everybody needs is a way to say ‘where and how can i love, can i be in love so that i can live with some degree of peace?’ and so that’s why i have a need for the characters to really analyse love, discuss it, kill it, destroy it, hurt each other, do all that stuff in that war, in that word polemic and polemic of what life is. the rest of the stuff really doesn’t interest me. it may interest other people but i have a one-track mind. all i’m interested in is love. - john cassavetes on his own films in a personal journey with martin scorsese through american movies
Ever since 1995, when Ed Burns broke into the movie industry with his surprise Sundance hit, The Brothers McMullen, the Long Island-born filmmaker has been a ubiquitous presence in front of and behind the camera. When he’s not, in his words, “busting balls” on camera as a gruff New Yorker, like he did in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Burns is writing and directing highly personal, nano-budget romances and dramas. 2012 looks to be a banner year for the 43 year old (who lives with his wife, model Christy Turlington, and two children in Tribeca), with no less than five projects hitting screens of all sizes.
First up for Burns is Newlyweds, his latest directorial effort that was made on a shoestring budget of less than $25,000. After that, Burns costars in two thrillers: As a pushy cop opposite Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks in Man on a Ledge, and opposite Tyler Perry in the James Patterson adaptation, I, Alex Cross. Burns also costars opposite Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt’s buzzy romantic comedy, Friends with Kids, and to top it all off, he recently wrapped 40, a pilot for HBO about midlife malaise, from Entourage svengali Doug Ellin. We know, it’s a lot, but speaking to Mr. Burns, you get the sense that he wouldn’t have it any other way.