Entertainment Magazine

A Letter to Elia

Posted on the 07 May 2011 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
A Letter to EliaElia Kazan was a brilliant filmmaker who brought a sense of realism to the movies and had a strong emphasis on acting, so much so that he was one of the cofounders of The Actor's Studio in New York. However he was a rigid sort and with each success he acheived, he found himself more perturbed and uneasy. Then during the HUAC hearings in the early 50s, he was pressured into testifying against leftist colleagues, something he did which led to him becoming a social pariah and also the best, most personal work of his career. A Letter to Elia isn't so much a biography of Kazan as much as it is what the title says it is: a letter, that of appreciation. The epistle is from Martin Scorsese, another master filmmaker who wrote, directed, and narrates this film. Scorsese takes us through his own life as a child, growing up in a rough part of New York, and finding his only refuge at his neighborhood church and theater where he discovered the films of Kazan. He noticed that the people in his film's looked like people he knew, not glamorized Hollywood types. He also said that Kazan's films stirred feelings in him he didn't know he had or didn't understand. Ultimately, he states how the films of Kazan made him want to make films of his own. Scorsese takes us through both his and Kazan's life while also dissecting On the Waterfront, East of Eden, and Wild River, three films that influenced him immensely. It is such a pleasure to watch such a knowledgeable, gifted master of film pay tribute to another and Scorsese does so wonderfully and graciously, a fine tribute from one great to another.

Reflections on Kazan
This was a short that played after the film, and is a tribute by those who knew the legendary director well. The reflections are surprisingly candid, providing insight on the demanding and brilliant man while offering takes on his work, personal life, and controversies. Interviewees include Acting Studio members (Al Pacino, Ellen Burstyn, and Alec Baldwin), actors who worked with him (Robert De Niro (The Last Tycoon), Eli Wallach (Baby Doll), and Lois Smith (East of Eden)), an assistant director (Ulu Grosbard (Splendor in the Grass)), a journalist who had written on his life (Patricia Bosworth), and his wife (Frances Kazan).

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • An Open Letter to the Boston Music Awards Academy. Where's the Folk?

    Open Letter Boston Music Awards Academy. Where's Folk?

    Jake,File this away for consideration after this year's Boston Music Awards. As a producer of traditional folk, bluegrass, old-time and Celtic live concerts,... Read more

    By  Notlobmusic
  • "I'm a Ripper! A Ripper Doesn't Stop!"

    "I'm Ripper! Ripper Doesn't Stop!"

    Well.I think I can successfully say that I am stunned. As if it wasn't possible, The Vampire Diaries has blown me away. Yet again.What a THRILLING episode! Read more

    By  Jayneymoo
  • A Train Running Through A Bangkok Market

    Train Running Through Bangkok Market

    More than three years ago I showed a video of the Maeklong Line running through a Bangkok market. It was the third most viewed post in the history of The... Read more

    By  Gerard
  • A Letter from Japan

    Letter from Japan

    I today got the following letter from the Spanish mailing list of WTT, with a call for prayer from Japan, from March 12th, which in view of the urgency of the... Read more

    By  Luphil
  • A Wrap Up to the “Saddest Letter”

    Wrap “Saddest Letter”

    Several days ago I called the young lady who sent me the letter. We had a great talk and I was encouraged by her spirit. We talked for 40 minutes. (She also... Read more

    By  Caryschmidt
  • Response #3 to the Saddest Letter

    Response Saddest Letter

    I’ve been late in this final post—thanks for your patience. On top of that, I’m sure it will be too long. Several days ago I had a very good 40-minute... Read more

    By  Caryschmidt
  • Response #2 to The Saddest Letter

    Response Saddest Letter

    A Response to ParentsAs promised, I’m writing three responses to the original post called “The Saddest Letter I’ve Ever Read.” I must confess, I’m in shock at... Read more

    By  Caryschmidt