6 Feb

And we’re back!
Another year of Melbourne Cinematheque is upon us. To kick-start 2012 is a three-week retrospective on Elia Kazan. Kazan has long been regarded as one of the best directors – of both film and stage- to emerge out of America. Making most of his films from the 1930s through to the 1970s, Kazan was born to Greek parents in Istanbul before immigrating to America where he was confronted with much discrimination from an early age. These early memories of prejudice, loneliness, ostracism, and isolation would later become apparent throughout his work with Kazan once claiming that every one of his films was autobiographical.
He is also known for his good working relationship with actors and his love of working with unknown actors, subsequently ‘discovering’ many stars. James Dean, Marlon Brando, Lee Remick, and Warren Beatty owe much of their stardom to initially staring in a Kazan film.

A Letter to Elia (Jones & Scorsese, 2010) isn’t actually a film by Kazan who passed away in 2003 at the age of 94. Rather, this is a documentary on how Kazan had affected Scorsese, both as a director and as a person. Scorsese’s ode to Kazan consists of a collage of film clips, interviews, narration, photographs, and footage of Kazan’s notorious address to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952.

America America (1963) is perhaps the closest of Kazan’s films to his own life and experiences having been based on a book he wrote from the stories he heard from his family growing up. Based on the life of his uncle, America America follows Stavros Topouzoglou, a Greek in Turkey, who has been sent to help out at his cousins carpet shop and has been entrusted with his families money. Yet Stavros only dreams of going to America where he can achieve greatness and make his family proud. Beautifully shot by Haskell Wexler, Kazan’s telling of The American Dream is poignant and personal.

Melbourne Cinematheque is a volunteer-run film society that screens world cinema every Wednesday from 7pm at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Annual tickets are $115 (full) or $99 (concession), whilst a four week pass is $25 (full) or $20 (concession). That is good value people. Get into it!


2 Responses to “ELIA KAZAN- THE OUTSIDER, week 1”

  1. sahil kumar November 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Its really cool thing to know


  1. Splendor in the Grass « A Film Log - March 29, 2012

    […] ELIA KAZAN- THE OUTSIDER, week 1 (australianfilmreview.wordpress.com) […]

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