; A Disheveled Scrapbook
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A Disheveled Scrapbook

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Here he regales his authence with a list of all a director needs to know: literature, opera, the American musical, acrobatics, "the banana peel and the custard pie," the fine arts, dance, classical and popular music, costuming, lighting, "the City" (complete with "its cathedrals and its whorehouses"), topography, animals, the handling of neurotics, the psychology of authences, the erotic arts, pornography, war. Gratuitous broadsides and digs against such diverse targets as Orson Welles, Walt Disney, his fellow director Harold C lurman, and Clurman's wife, the acting guru Stella Adler, leave a bad taste. SANDWICHED between those tributes and the "Pleasures" diptych are 200plus pages of selections from Kazan's autobiography, notebooks, journals, letters, and other such sources, along with pertinent bits and pieces by Kazan's collaborators and the occasional critic.

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  • pg 1
									        A                                       ners of the actor and director will expect
                                                this and understand and not resent what-
                                                                                                House Un-American Activities Commit-
                                                                                                tee, but let’s not go there.

    Disheveled                                  ever develops,” he advises. “The part-
                                                ner can be sure of one thing. The relation-
                                                                                                    Yet the book gets off to a good start
                                                                                                with a Foreword by the distinguished

    Scrapbook                                   ship between director and player will
                                                not last.”
                                                                                                drama critic John Lahr that provides a
                                                                                                masterful overview of Kazan’s personali-
                                                    Other nuggets: There is no such thing       ty, methods and achievements. In addi-
       Kazan on Directing                       as realistic theater. A film script is more     tion, there is a glowing Preface by film
             By Elia Kazan                      architecture than literature. When you          director Martin Scorsese. “He is one of
                Knopf.                          are the director, everything is your fault.     the most important figures in the history
            341 pp. $30.00.                     It is better to be bold than careful. The       of movies,” Scorsese declares. “It’s that
             Reviewed by                        actor’s life experience is the director’s       simple. His documentary eye, his ability
      Matthew Gurewitsch                        material. “Just getting a ‘good actor,’ an      to home in on the subtlest behaviors and
                                                able technician of the stage or screen, is      interactions, his sense of surprise and
   Contributor, New York “Times,”
                                                not enough. You will end up with a British      beauty within the frame, his remarkable
     “Smithsonian”; online at
                                                film.” “The Fountain of Youth is in your-       ear for sound, his astonishing sensitivity
       beyondcriticism.com
                                                self.” Don’t take taxis.                        to atmosphere . . . these were just a few
     UMMING UP one’s life in art is no pic-         There is zest, too, in throwaway remi-      of his gifts as a filmmaker. For me, Kazan
S     nic. The director Elia Kazan, in his
late 70s, found the job impossible. Maybe
                                                niscences, like the one about the camera-
                                                man Leon Shamroy (known to his crew
                                                                                                is beyond ‘important,’ ‘central,’ or ‘influ-
                                                                                                ential.’ I grew up watching his pictures,
he waited too long. After serving as mid-       as “Grumble-gut”). He never bothered to         and they were instrumental in forming
wife to playwrights like Arthur Miller,         read a shooting script and would show up        my ideas of cinema, what it was and what
Tennessee Williams and William Inge, he         every morning wanting to know, “What’s          it could be. They were equally instrumen-
had walked away from the theater in 1964.       the garbage for today?”                         tal in helping me to understand myself, I
His career as auteur of such celluloid              The balance of the closing section          think.”
classics as A Streetcar Named Desire,           is given over to Kazan’s talk “On What                ANDWICHED between those tributes
On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Splen-
dor in the Grass, and America America
                                                Makes a Director,” delivered at Wesleyan
                                                University in 1973. Here he regales his au-
                                                                                                S     and the “Pleasures” diptych are 200-
                                                                                                plus pages of selections from Kazan’s
had come to an end in 1976 with The Last        dience with a list of all a director needs to   autobiography, notebooks, journals, let-
Tycoon. (He liked that French word, with        know: literature, opera, the American mu-       ters, and other such sources, along with
its intimations of total control.) In 1983      sical, acrobatics, “the banana peel and the     pertinent bits and pieces by Kazan’s col-
he had attempted something new; but             custard pie,” the fine arts, dance, classical   laborators and the occasional critic. All of
The Chain, a gloss on the Oresteia, was a       and popular music, costuming, lighting,         this has been selected and annotated by
total write-off
								
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