Author Topic: Elia Kazan Dead at 94  (Read 4302 times)

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cine

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« on: September 28, 2003, 07:56:53 PM »
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Director Elia Kazan, whose triumphs included the original Broadway productions of "Death of a Salesman" and "A Streetcar Named Desire," and the Academy Award-winning film "On the Waterfront," died Sunday. He was 94.

Kazan was at his home in Manhattan when he died, lawyer Floria Lasky said. She did not give a cause of death.

"A genius left us," said Lasky. "He was one of the greats."

Five of the plays he staged won Pulitzer Prizes for their authors: "The Skin of Our Teeth," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Death of a Salesman," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "J.B.," for which Kazan himself won a Tony Award. Other stage credits included "Camino Real," "Sweet Bird of Youth" and "Tea and Sympathy."

In Hollywood, he won Oscars for directing "Gentleman's Agreement" and "On the Waterfront." He also did "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," the film version of "Streetcar," "East of Eden," "Splendor in the Grass," "A Face in the Crowd" and "The Last Tycoon."

He turned to writing in his 50s and produced six novels -- including several best sellers -- and an autobiography. The first two novels, "America, America" and "The Arrangement," he also made into movies.

"Even when I was a boy I wanted to live three or four lives," he once said.

To some, Kazan diminished his stature when he went before the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the McCarthy era and named people he said had been members of the Communist Party with him in the mid-1930s.

But he insisted years later that he bore no guilt as a result of what some saw as a betrayal. "There's a normal sadness about hurting people, but I'd rather hurt them a little than hurt myself a lot," he said.

In early 1999, leaders of the motion picture academy announced they would give Kazan a special Academy Award for his life's work. The decision reopened wounds and touched off a painful controversy.

On awards night, some in the audience withheld applause, though others gave him a warm reception. Director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro presented the award.

"I thank you very much. I really like to hear that and I want to thank the Academy for its courage, generosity," Kazan said.

He started out as a stage actor but his ambition was to direct, which he began doing in the mid-1930s. The breakthrough came when he staged Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth" in 1942 and won a New York Drama Critics Award.

He first teamed with Arthur Miller to direct "All My Sons" and went on to do "Death of a Salesman," which one critic termed "as exciting and devastating a theatrical blast as the nerves of modern playgoers can stand."

His Broadway collaboration with Tennessee Williams began with "Streetcar" in 1947 and later included "Camino Real," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Sweet Bird of Youth."

"He approaches a play more critically than anyone I know; you find yourself doing more revisions for him than for any other director," Williams once said.

Kazan, Lee Strasberg and other Group Theatre alumni founded the Actors Studio in 1948, which became a sort of spiritual home for theater people. Actors liked Kazan's approach to directing.

"Some directors regard actors as a necessary evil; others, as children to be handled," actress Mildred Dunnock once said, adding that Kazan treated actors "like an equal. Once he casts you, he makes you confident."

Kazan left Broadway and the Actors Studio in 1962 to co-direct, with Robert Whitehead, the Lincoln Center Repertory Company. He resigned after two disastrous seasons, saying he was "not an administrator by taste."

His friendship with Miller was never the same after his congressional testimony. Kazan talked with Miller before he testified, and Miller later wrote in his journal about a side of his friend that he had not seen before: "He would have sacrificed me as well."

Kazan told the committee that he had joined a unit of the Communist Party made up of members of the Group Theatre in the summer of 1934 and left 18 months later, disillusioned at "being told what to think and say and do."

Playwright Clifford Odets, actress Phoebe Brand and Paula Miller, Strasberg's actress-wife, were among the eight he identified as communists.

He defended his naming names on the ground that all were already known to the committee; others have said that at least half were not.

Some critics saw in as a subtext of "On the Waterfront" a justification for Kazan's decision to cooperate with congressional Red hunters. The movie's hero, portrayed by Marlon Brando, breaks the code of silence on the docks and courageously fingers a corrupt, murderous union boss in televised hearings.

In his 1988 autobiography, an 848-page tome titled "Elia Kazan -- A Life," Kazan wrote candidly of the many affairs he had over the years, including one with Marilyn Monroe.

"The affairs I've had were sources of knowledge; they were my education," he wrote. "For many years, in this area and only in this area, I've used the lie, and I'm not proud of that. But I must add this: My 'womanizing' saved my life. It kept the juices pumping and saved me from drying up, turning to dust and blowing away."

Kazan once said he turned to writing because "I wanted to say exactly what I felt. I like to say what I feel about things directly and no matter whose play you direct or how sympathetic you are to the playwright, what you finally are trying to do is interpret his view of life. ... When I speak for myself I get a tremendous sense of liberation."

Born Elia Kazanjoglous on Sept. 7, 1909, in what was then Constantinople, Turkey, he was the son of a Greek rug merchant. The family came to New York when Kazan was 4 and he grew up in a Greek neighborhood in Harlem and later suburban New Rochelle.

He went to Williams College, where he picked up the nickname Gadget -- "I guess because I was small, compact and eccentric," he once said. Shortened to Gadge, it was a name that stuck -- and one that he came to loathe.

During his senior year he saw Sergei Eisenstein's film "Potemkin" and focused on the performing arts. After graduating with high honors, he attended the Yale University Drama School, then joined the Group Theatre in New York in 1933.

Kazan, a short, stocky intense man, preferred casual dress and was direct in social dealings.

"Gadge is the kind of man who sends a suit out to be cleaned and rumpled," actress Vivien Leigh once remarked. "He doesn't believe in social amenities and, if he is bored by any individual or group, he simply departs without apology or explanation."

Kazan married three times. With first wife Molly Day Thatcher he had four children, Judy, Chris, Nick and Katharine. After her death he married Barbara Loden and they had two sons, Leo and Marco. She died of cancer in 1967; in 1982 he married Frances Rudge.

ElPandaRoyal

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2003, 08:02:23 PM »
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:(
Si

eward

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2003, 08:39:56 PM »
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WHY THE FUCK IS EVERYONE DYING??????????


why him of all people??
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

modage

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2003, 09:03:12 PM »
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Quote from: eward
why him of all people??


Quote from: Cinephile
Elia Kazan Dead at 94


he was NINETY FOUR.  does he need ANOTHER reason!?!
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

MacGuffin

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2003, 09:10:14 PM »
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Quote
In Hollywood, he won Oscars for directing "Gentleman's Agreement" and "On the Waterfront." He also did "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," the film version of "Streetcar," "East of Eden," "Splendor in the Grass," "A Face in the Crowd" and "The Last Tycoon."



What a great resume to have. I'm a fan of and will cherish his work.

 :yabbse-cry:  :yabbse-cry:  :yabbse-cry:
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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eward

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2003, 09:17:12 PM »
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but he was way too great.  he should......like, have not died, ever......
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

cine

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2003, 09:28:42 PM »
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Hey, if Hitchcock, Fellini, Kurosawa, Bunuel, and Truffaut had to die, then Kazan had to die.

eward

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2003, 09:31:04 PM »
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shut up you.








just kidding.
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

MacGuffin

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2003, 09:40:37 PM »
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Quote from: eward
but he was way too great.  he should......like, have not died, ever......


It's very sad, yes, but it wasn't like he was still working and making films.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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eward

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2003, 09:42:49 PM »
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...true....all these deaths are just overwhelming......
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

cine

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2003, 09:46:45 PM »
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I'm surprised by stuff like O'Connor and Kazan, but its been coming for a while, so its not too bad. It's when you say, "well they're in a better place now."

but if someone like Robert Altman or Clint Eastwood died right now I'd be livid..

MrBurgerKing

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2003, 09:48:22 PM »
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I don't know, I tend not to get really affected by these celebrity deaths. Their work lives on.. these guys are immortal. Long live the wendys big bacon classic. Long live Dave Thomas.

coffeebeetle

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2003, 11:23:42 PM »
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Goddamn, another legend drops like a fly.  Who's next for chrissakes?  Mel Brooks?  Brando?  AHHHHHHHHH!
more than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. one path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. the other, to total extinction. let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2003, 11:49:23 PM »
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I really don't care. He was 94. He also copped out his friends in favor of job security. Ebert put it best when he was awarded lifetime achievement award in '99.....no applause nor booing, just silence.

~rougerum

SoNowThen

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Elia Kazan Dead at 94
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2003, 08:51:33 AM »
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RIP Kazan.

I'm glad he ratted out his commie friends. :)
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

 

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