Kazan: The Master Director Discusses His Films: Interviews with Elia Kazan

Kazan: The Master Director Discusses His Films: Interviews with Elia Kazan

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by Jeff Young, Jeff Young
     
 

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In this collection of interviews, renowned Academy Award-winning director Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Gentleman's Agreement, Splendor in the Grass, Baby Doll, The Last Tycoon, A Face in the Crowd, and others) reveals with brutal honesty the joys and complications of production and his

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Overview

In this collection of interviews, renowned Academy Award-winning director Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Gentleman's Agreement, Splendor in the Grass, Baby Doll, The Last Tycoon, A Face in the Crowd, and others) reveals with brutal honesty the joys and complications of production and his unique insights on acting, directing, and producing. 60 black & white movie stills and posters, Index, Filmography.

Editorial Reviews

Brad Hooper
The complete musical book and all the lyrics have been put together in this arresting volume, along with production and backstage photographs and archival material. What we have preserved then, is a moment in Broadway history that will resonate for years to come.
Publishers Weekly
This book is a time capsule. Discussions here range over all aspects of scripting, music, cinematography, methodology and directing. Fill buffs will find these interviews a valuable resource, since Young asked all the right questions, unleashing an avalanche of revelatory insights from a director who, his political choices notwithstanding, remains an American original.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
To a certain generation of a certain political stripe, Elia kazan will always be the Whitaker Chambers of Hollywood. That said, it is hard not to warm to kazan, or at least to the Kazan presented in the pages of Jeff Young's book-length interview. Young approached this project with a naivete that is likewise appealing, hoping to extract from the master the secrets of the trade that would help him in his own infant directing career. Young's book was a news story even before it hit the stores. It had the good fortune to coincide with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' controversial canonization of the director with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ted Kotcheff
Incredibly inspiring..an absolute must for both professional filmakers and laymen. It couldn't be recommended too highly.
Arthur Penn
This book should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the twentieth century....I found this book fascinating
Bernard Weinraub
Remarkably candid and detailed....Jeff Young's book offers details about Elia Kazan's casting descisions, hisdirectorial technique and his personal views on all his classic films. What makes the book especially timely is Mr. Kazan's discussion of the link between some of his films and his congressional testimony.....
The New York Times
Stephen Rees
This collection of interviews is a timely appreciation of a remarkable series of films. A valuable companion volume to Kazan's autobiography; highly recommended for film collections.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Timed to follow the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' controversial decision to present the 1999 lifetime achievement Oscar to famed film director Elia Kazan, this selection of interviews has little bearing on contemporary Hollywood. In fact, the book is a time capsule, comprising only Young's sessions with Kazan in 1971 and 1972, a time when Young was beginning his own filmmaking career. As Kazan had a longstanding agreement with Knopf that he would not do a competing book until his memoir, Elia Kazan: A Life, was published in 1988, Young's transcripts gathered dust over the years. In Young's q&a format, Kazan discusses all but one of the 19 films he directed, moving chronologically from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) to the seldom-seen The Visitors (1971), a non-union, low-budget "anti-war picture" that employed his own house for a set. Discussions here range over all aspects of scripting, music, cinematography, methodology and directing: "I try to base things in realism and take off from there," he says. The book does offer some perspective on Kazan's HUAC testimony, which the director says made him an "unsavory figure" ("The hardest time I ever had was just prior to On the Waterfront which every studio in California turned down"). He drew memorable performances from Brando, James Dean, Andy Griffith and others using everything from the Stanislavsky system to the "Jack Daniels school of acting." Kazan's work in the theater is ignored, but film buffs will find these interviews a valuable resource, since Young asked all the right questions, unleashing an avalanche of revelatory insights from a director who, his political choices notwithstanding, remains an American original. 60 b&w photos. (June)
Library Journal
Elia Kazan recently received the Motion Picture Academy's lifetime achievement award, a controversial honor given Kazan's willingness to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee during the height of the blacklisting fever in the early 1950s. In the 1970s, aspiring filmmaker Young sat down with Kazan to review his films. Publication of the resulting study was postponed until Kazan completed his autobiography (Elia Kazan: A Life, LJ 4/15/88). This collection of interviews is a timely appreciation of a remarkable series of films. Kazan recalls what it was like to work with Brando, James Dean, and Vivien Leigh. He explains why he hates the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn picture Sea of Grass, tells why he feels Montgomery Clift was wrong for the lead in Wild River, and defends Splendor in the Grass against the charge of "cheap sentimentality." Although Kazan now deplores McCarthyism, he also states that many of his left-leaning colleagues became victims of a "slavery of the mind." A valuable companion volume to Kazan's autobiography; highly recommended for film collections.--Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The artistically lauded but politically tainted film director reveals his method and insights in this capacious interview collection.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557043382
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1999
Series:
Insider Filmbooks Series
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Kazan: The Master Director Discusses His Films has been selected by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as one of the Best Books of 1999.

What People are saying about this

Elia Kazan
"Communists were in a lot of organizations -- unseen, unrecognized, unbeknownst to anybody. I thought, if I don't talk, nobody will know about it....There are circumstances which force you into making difficult choices....either way there are penalties, costs you have to pay."
— Interviewed in The Christian Science Monitor, March 26, 1999

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