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Elia Kazan

March 19, 1999
In the 1940s and '50s, one couldn't find an article or a television or radio program in which the views of Allen Weinstein and Richard Dreyfuss would appear ("Perspectives on Elia Kazan," Commentary, March 17). Dreyfuss' column would have represented a threat to HUAC, whereas Weinstein's would be considered "pinko" but not "Red," and Weinstein would probably have been blacklisted for some of the negative comments about Kazan while supporting him for the award. The viewpoints were both well-taken in this household, but we have more empathy for those who were hurt than for Kazan, already honored often for his talents.
January 7, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
Stage and screen credits abound in Zoe Kazan's family - her parents are the screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord and her grandfather is the pioneering director Elia Kazan ("A Streetcar Named Desire"). But the 30-year-old actress and writer, who has lived in New York for the past 12 years, is wracking up a hefty IMDB page of her own. She is perhaps best known for having written and co-starred in the film "Ruby Sparks" with longtime boyfriend Paul Dano. Back when she was still studying drama at Yale University, however, her first play, "Absalom," premiered at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2009; its follow-up, "We Live Here," premiered off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2011.  CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat Kazan costars with Daniel Radcliffe in the recently released film "The F Word" and she's been cast in a Broadway production planned for spring, but she can't reveal the title yet. In the meantime, Kazan's third play, "Trudy and Max in Love," opens at the South Coast Repertory on Friday.
March 10, 1999
Arthur Miller is correct in his assessment that Dalton Trumbo's main thrust was to identify the members of House Committee on Un-American Activities as the "real culprits" of the blacklist era (Commentary, March 3). Arthur Schlesinger Jr. has said of that committee, "Little has disgraced Congress more than the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Its inquiry into communism in Hollywood was among the most indefensible, scandalous and cruel episodes in the entire history of legislative investigations."
May 31, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
South Coast Repertory announced the lineup for its 50th season Thursday - and it includes the mix of new and recent works, classics and modern masterpieces they are known for. Among the highlights: Arthur Miller's “Death of a Salesman,” directed by the company's artistic director, Marc Masterson, with an all-black cast, starring Charlie Robinson as Willy Loman and the world premiere of the SCR-commissioned “Rest” by Samuel D. Hunter, which...
November 6, 2005 | Richard Schickel, RICHARD SCHICKEL is a film critic for Time and a contributing writer to The Times Book Review. His new book, "Elia Kazan: A Biography," is out this month from HarperCollins.
THIS THURSDAY, the Los Angeles Film Festival will be playing a handsomely restored print of a 45-year-old film called "Wild River." There's a good chance you've never heard of the movie, a much better chance that you've never seen it.
Tennessee Williams must have had a hoot of a time with "Baby Doll," the 1956 erotic comedy he wrote for director Elia Kazan. The movie, based on two of Williams' short stories about Southern discomfort, "27 Wagons Full of Cotton" and "The Long Stay Cut Short," gave the playwright the opportunity to indulge one of his favorite vices--repressed sexuality in the hot and humid Dixie psyche.
March 9, 1987 | CLARKE TAYLOR
"This is awesome, when you think of all those who have come before me," 77-year-old director Elia Kazan said, after being presented with the Directors Guild of America's coveted D.W. Griffith Award for career achievement Saturday night. Kazan, the 19th Griffith Award winner since 1953, accepted the award at a ceremony held here for East Coast members of the DGA. Most of the 1986 DGA winners were in Los Angeles, attending a simultaneous dinner at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel.
February 11, 1996
While Elia Kazan made enormous thematic films that are among the absolute best of the art form, his legacy also includes his capitulation to the House Committee on Un-American Activities ("Why Won't Hollywood Forgive Elia Kazan?" by Patrick Goldstein, Jan. 14). That may have cost him some awards, but not winning a popularity vote is hardly the same as being denied one's livelihood as a result of and entire industry's collusion. As a former Screen Actors Guild board member, I cannot forget Charlton Heston's own campaign of disinformation and Red-baiting against actor Edward Asner and against the Screen Actors Guild.
April 9, 1989
Elia Kazan, the distinguished director of stage ("Death of a Salesman," "Streetcar Named Desire") and screen ("Splendor in the Grass," "On the Waterfront," "East of Eden") tells his life story with candor and fury. For years there was, in his words, "self-betrayal"--the product of the rites of assimilation of a Greek immigrant from Turkey. But having hidden a lifetime's deep resentment behind his Anatolian smile, Kazan now sets the record straight: "The fact is that I am mad, almost every morning.
January 26, 1997 | Martin E. Marty, Martin E. Marty, a professor of the history of religion at the University of Chicago and senior editor of the Christian Century magazine, directs the Public Religion Project, a nonprofit group analyzing the role of religion in American life
Blacklisting is an ugly term for an ugly activity. Americans, especially those in show business, came to know it in the mid-century years that we call "McCarthyite." To blacklist is to keep score on "persons who have incurred suspicion, censure or punishment." On one side of a table sat Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy and his kind. On the other, the accused. In the case of Hollywood between 1947-55, it was usually the House Un-American Activities Committee at the accusers' table.
April 1, 2011 | By Melissa Maerz, Los Angeles Times
Cowboys, lawyers, and detectives were honored in their fight for justice (and good television) when the 70th annual George Foster Peabody Awards were announced Thursday by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. FX's modern-day western "Justified," CBS' legal drama "The Good Wife," and PBS' Sherlock Holmes update "Sherlock: A Study in Pink" each received one of a record 39 awards, which recognized the best work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals for 2010.
November 7, 2010 | By Sam Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Elia Kazan has been called the movies' greatest director of American actors, but the 15 films in Fox's Elia Kazan Collection make a compelling case that the description actually underestimates his talents. By Kazan's own admission, some of his early films were little more than filmed theater, executed with the skills he had honed in the Group Theater and at the Actors Studio. But there was a point at which, as Martin Scorsese puts it in "A Letter to Elia," his hour-long appreciation of Kazan's contributions to the art form, "a director became a filmmaker.
October 4, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
As a kid growing up asthmatic and poor in the Bronx, Martin Scorsese took refuge in movie theaters. When he was about 12, the future director of "The Departed," "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" saw Elia Kazan's Academy Award-winning masterpiece "On the Waterfront," a gritty drama shot on the streets of Hoboken, N.J., about dock workers that starred Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger and Karl Malden. The following year, 1955, he went to see Kazan's "East of Eden," which marked James Dean's first starring role, as a troubled young man with a "good" twin brother and a judgmental father.
February 17, 2010 | By Susan King
Elia Kazan was one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century, directing such classics as 1951's "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1954's "On the Waterfront" and 1955's "East of Eden." He won three Oscars, five Tony Awards and four Golden Globes. Actors such as Marlon Brando, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, Patricia Neal, Terry Moore and Andy Griffith blossomed under his direction. The actors who worked with him adored -- and still adore -- him. But not everybody adores him, because of his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952, when he informed on eight of his friends from his Group Theatre days in the 1930s who, like him, had once belonged to the Communist Party.
May 14, 2009 | Richard Schickel
Before starting to direct a new play or movie, Elia Kazan would purchase a little school notebook and, as rehearsals and early performances proceeded, fill it with his thoughts. Taken together, these notebooks constitute a unique (and as far as I know unparalleled) record of an uncommonly passionate and acute directorial mind at work and, in edited form, they are the fascinating and unsparing core of "Kazan on Directing." These notes are very writerly.
December 27, 2008 | Susan King
When Zoe Kazan was preparing to play saucy young secretary Maureen Grube in "Revolutionary Road" -- the film adaptation of Richard Yates' novel about a young couple (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) trying to change their lives in staid 1955 suburbia -- she had definite ideas about her character's appearance. "I wanted her to look like she went to Sears Roebuck and bought three suits, two dresses, one pair of heels, two handbags and two pairs of gloves, then moved to New York City and gained 5 pounds," said Kazan, whose character ends up having a romantic fling with the New York corporate drone played by DiCaprio.
April 13, 2006 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
THE Los Angeles County Museum of Art's four-week Elia Kazan retrospective continues Friday and Saturday with the director's 1954 masterwork, "On the Waterfront," as well as the rarely revived "Panic in the Streets," "Boomerang!" and "Viva Zapata!" "Panic in the Streets," which screens Friday, is a riveting 1950 thriller shot in New Orleans.
November 13, 2005 | David Caute, David Caute is the author of many books, including "The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower" and "The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy During the Cold War." He is working on a study of contemporary American historians, "Beyond Denial."
FROM his formative years, Elia Kazan's role models among directors included Stanislavsky, Dovzhenko and the maestros of European expressionism. As a quintessentially American genius of stage and screen, passionately believing in "roots," Kazan unveiled Marlon Brando and James Dean for audiences far beyond America's shores. During his heyday (1930-60), Kazan virtually re-explored the terrain of Dos Passos' trilogy, "U.S.A." -- a continent and a Power wonderfully absorbed in itself.
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