Kazan Revisited (Wesleyan Film)
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Be the first to ask a question about The Films of Samuel Fuller. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Dec 08, Brian rated it liked it. This is a good introduction to Fuller's career and to the types of films that he made during his periods as both a major Hollywood studio director and his days working as a B picture director. The book is overly formalistic in its analysis of the films but overall serves as the beginnings of what I hope will be more scholarly attention to his films and his career.
Chris rated it really liked it Jul 04, Darin rated it really liked it Oct 20, Ken French rated it it was amazing Jul 11, James rated it liked it Oct 11, King rated it liked it May 04, Jonathan Wright rated it it was ok Dec 21, Toon rated it liked it Sep 05, Manuel marked it as to-read Aug 13, Jason marked it as to-read Oct 09, Mark marked it as to-read Dec 16, Maikel Aarts added it Mar 13, Asli marked it as to-read Jul 04, Elivn added it Mar 01, Kazan called this his "first real film" because of those factors.
In he again used Brando as a star in On the Waterfront. As a continuation of the socially relevant themes that he developed in New York, the film exposed corruption within New York's longshoremen's union. Saint recalls that Kazan selected her for the role after he had her do an improvisational skit with Brando playing the other character.
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She had no idea that he was looking to fill any particular film part, however, but remembers that Kazan set up the scenario with Brando which brought out surprising emotions:. I ended up crying. I mean there was such an attraction there That smile of his He was very tender and funny And Kazan, in his genius, saw the chemistry there. Life magazine described On the Waterfront as the "most brutal movie of the year" but with "the year's tenderest love scenes," and stating that Saint was a "new discovery" in films. In its cover story about Saint, it speculated that it will probably be as Edie in On the Waterfront that she "starts her real trip to fame.
The film made use of extensive on-location street scenes and waterfront shots, and included a notable score by noted composer Leonard Bernstein.
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After the success of On the Waterfront he went on to direct the screen adaptation of John Steinbeck 's novel, East of Eden in As director, Kazan again used another unknown actor, James Dean. Kazan had seen Dean on stage in New York and after an audition gave him the starring role along with an exclusive contract with Warner Bros. Dean flew back to Los Angeles with Kazan in , the first time he had ever flown in a plane, bringing his clothes in a brown paper bag.
Author Douglas Rathgeb describes the difficulties Kazan had in turning Dean into a new star, noting how Dean was a controversial figure at Warner Bros. There were rumors that he "kept a loaded gun in his studio trailer; that he drove his motorcycle dangerously down studio streets or sound stages; that he had bizarre and unsavory friends. Co-star Julie Harris worked overtime to quell Dean's panic attacks.
In general, Dean was oblivious to Hollywood's methods, and Rathgeb notes that "his radical style did not mesh with Hollywood's corporate gears. Dean himself was amazed at his own performance on screen when he later viewed a rough cut of the film. Kazan had invited director Nicholas Ray to a private showing, with Dean, as Ray was looking for someone to play the lead in Rebel Without a Cause. Ray watched Dean's powerful acting on the screen; but it didn't seem possible that it was the same person in the room.
Ray felt Dean was shy and totally withdrawn as he sat there hunched over. The film also made good use of on-location and outdoor scenes, along with an effective use of early widescreen format, making the film one of Kazan's most accomplished works. James Dean died the following year, at the age of 24, in an accident with his sports car outside of Los Angeles. He had only made three films, and the only completed film he ever saw was East of Eden. In , he introduced Warren Beatty in his first screen appearance with a starring role in Splendor in the Grass , with Natalie Wood ; the film was nominated for two Oscars and won one.
Author Peter Biskind points out that Kazan "was the first in a string of major directors Beatty sought out, mentors or father figures from whom he wanted to learn. Kazan was armed with the confidence born of age and success, while Beatty was virtually aflame with the arrogance of youth. Biskind describes an episode during the first week of shooting, where Beatty was angered at something Kazan said: He snapped, 'Lemme ask you something—why did you name all those names?
Beatty himself recalled the episode: Beatty's costar, Natalie Wood , was in a transition period in her career, having mostly been cast in roles as a child or teenager, and she was now hoping to be cast in adult roles. Biographer Suzanne Finstad notes that a "turning point" in her life as an actress was upon seeing the film A Streetcar Named Desire: Kazan cast her as the female lead in Splendor in the Grass , and her career rebounded.
Finstad feels that despite Wood never receiving training in Method acting techniques, "working with Kazan brought her to the greatest emotional heights of her career. The experience was exhilarating but wrenching for Natalie, who faced her demons on Splendor. Actor Gary Lockwood , who also acted in the film, felt that "Kazan and Natalie were a terrific marriage, because you had this beautiful girl, and you had somebody that could get things out of her. I still like it when I see it," writes Kazan. Two years later he directed Gentleman's Agreement , where he tackled a seldom-discussed topic in America, antisemitism , for which he won his first Oscar as Best Director.
He called Williams "the most loyal and understanding friend I had through those black months. Share your thoughts with other customers. Robin Swicord P '09 and Isabella Rossellini. Molly Day Thacher m. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote. As an instrumental figure in the careers of many of the best writers of his time, "he always treated them and their work with the utmost respect.
Built almost exclusively around very long scenes, first between Carroll Baker and Karl Malden, then Baker and Eli Wallach, and then all three together, it sustains its peculiar brand of black comedy until the last scene, when the tone abruptly shifts to bitter-sweet pathos. Most impressive of all is the lengthy seduction scene staged in and around the crumbling mansion, a virtuoso acting exercise that runs with brief interruptions and diversions for nearly an hour.
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But if Kazan works best in his longest scenes — usually those, one should add, with only two characters — what are we to make of his more recent films, where the scenes have become progressively shorter and more fragmented, and the overall unity sought is a thematic consistency binding together a mosaic? Fragmentation in The Visitors — principally a matter of cross-cutting between simultaneous scenes — serves mainly to create crude juxtapositions, inhibiting the narrative flow and making the exposition rather laborious.
Why does the protagonist, who reports the rape and murder of a Vietnamese girl by his fellow soldiers, wait until two of these men turn up for revenge, months later, before telling his girl-friend about the incident? Here one finds an editing style that succeeds beautifully in expressing and amplifying the theme: by continually cutting from medium shots to long shots, Kazan moves from considering the characters on their own terms to situating them in the natural settings which help to identify them — the land, fields, buildings, and river which are never only backdrops to the story, but form an integral part of it.
As many have noted, the theme and style are quite Fordian; at the end of the first meeting between Chuck Montgomery Clift , the T.
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In an extended scene between Chuck and Carol the same principle is used differently, to even greater effect. Paul Osborn, who scripted Wild River as well as East of Eden , and Jo Van Fleet, who makes extraordinary contributions to each, are undoubtedly responsible for much of the distinction of both films, but obviously much credit is due Kazan as well.
It is paradoxical that all three collaborated on two works which are so radically different, and which reveal Kazan at his most rhetorically effective and his most classically restrained. She also studies enzymes that can improve the efficiency of biomass to biofuel conversion, particularly the breakdown and bacterial utilization of lignin.
On Feb. Lisa Dombrowski, associate professor of film studies, is the editor of the book, Kazan Revisited , published by Wesleyan University Press in March According to WUP: A groundbreaking filmmaker dogged by controversy in both his personal life and career, Elia Kazan was one of the most important directors of postwar American cinema. Book edited by Lisa Dombrowski.