Saturday, December 1, 2007

Elia Kazan Lecture 11/29/07

What I learned at the Elia Kazan lecture...

1) Controversial figure throughout most of his life, many people refused to stand or applaud when he received his Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement at the 1999 Academy Awards.

2) He revealed the name of 8 known Communists to the HUAC. 3 of which were friends of his and who gave him permission to name them.

3) He was part of the Communist party for 2 years but left as he didn't like the secrecy or the propaganda involved.

4) Marlon Brando was reluctant to work with him after the HUAC controversy.

5) As a director, Elia Kazan was known for filming on location instead of in a studio, for very long takes, encouraging actors to use props, exploring intimacy and emotional distance between characters, and helping actors from the Actor's Studio get their start in films (Andy Griffith, Carroll Baker, etc).

6) Modeled the father character in East of Eden (1955) more after his own father than John Steinbeck's version in the original novel.

7) He shared Marilyn Monroe as a girlfriend with Arthur Miller, who went on to be Monroe's last husband (tee hee!).

8) Did not work well with established film stars Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy on the set of Sea of Grass. They clashed artistically.

9) He was influenced by filmmaker Orson Welles.

10) Nicknamed "Gadget" or "Gadge", a name he would resent throughout his life.

11) Watch A Face in the Crowd (1957) . On pain of death. (Just kidding!)

Thanks Kevin!

(Just a Baby Doll (1956) shot I liked. Enjoy!)

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