November 7, 2010 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.