Elia Kazan: A Life by Elia Kazan

By Elia Kazan

"This is the simplest autobiography I've learn by way of a well known American in I don't know the way a long time. it truly is without end soaking up and that i think the reason for this is that it matters a guy who's trying to discover a coherent philosophy that may be tricky sufficient to comprise all that's grotesque in his individual and his adventure, but shall turn out sufficiently compassionate to offer sincere judgment on himself and others. one way or the other, the writer brings this off. Elia Kazan: A existence has that candor of confession that's attainable merely whilst the private wounds have healed and honesty can in attaining what honesty so infrequently arrives at--a wealthy and hearty taste. via such skill, a recognized director has written a e-book that provides the type of human wealth we discover in an incredible novel." --Norman Mailer

during this notable autobiography, Kazan at seventy-eight brings to the undiluted telling of his story--and revelation of himself--all the eagerness, energy, and fact, the virtually outrageous honesty, that experience made him so ambitious a level director (A Streetcar Named hope, dying of a salesperson, All My Sons, Cat on a sizzling Tin Roof, Tea and Sympathy), movie director (On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Gentleman's contract, beauty within the Grass, child Doll, The final mogul, A Face within the Crowd), and novelist (the number-one best-seller The Arrangement.)

Kazan provides us his experience of himself as an interloper (a Greek rug merchant's son born in Turkey, an immigrant's son raised in ny and expert at Williams College). he's taking us into the just about unintentional sojourn on the Yale Drama university that prompted his dedication to theatre, and his edgy, intriguing apprenticeship with the recent and impressive staff Theatre, as stagehand and level manager--and as actor (Waiting for Lefty, Golden Boy) . . . his first frightened after which winning makes an attempt at directing for theatre and films (The pores and skin of Our the teeth, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) . . . his go back to long island to co-found the Actors Studio (and his lengthy and ambivalent courting with Lee Strasberg) . . . his emergence as preferable director on either coasts.

With his director's eye for the telling scene, Kazan stocks the thrill and issues of construction, his particular insights on appearing, directing, and generating. He makes us believe the shut presence of the actors, manufacturers, and writers he's labored with--James Dean, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Vivien Leigh, Tallulah Bankhead, Sam Spiegel, Darryl Zanuck, Harold Clurman, Arthur Miller, Budd Schulberg, James Baldwin, Clifford Odets, and John Steinbeck between them. He offers us a frank and affectionate portrait of Marilyn Monroe. He talks with startling candor approximately himself as husband and--in the years the place he obsessively sought event open air marriage--as lover. For the 1st time, he discusses his Communist social gathering years and his wrenching selection in 1952 to be a cooperative witness earlier than HUAC. He writes approximately his delivery as a writer.

The velocity and natural drama of his narrative, his grab of the lifestyles and politics of Broadway and Hollywood, the fervour with which he observes the lads and ladies and worlds round him, and, peculiarly, the sincere with which he pursues and captures his personal essence, make this essentially the most interesting autobiographies of our time.

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12/9/08 4:22 PM Try to Tell the Story Page 53 53 we went backstage to meet the actors. They seemed to be about twenty feet tall, and I was terrified of them, especially the Grand Vizier, who seemed to be Dad’s friend. But there were boys in tights and high-heeled shoes who proved to be girls when you got close to them. There was an extraordinary smell, sick but sweet, and I asked what it was. No one knew. No one noticed. ” That was it, and not long after as a kid I was given Leichner makeup sticks, and I had a game of making people up.

She might never have heard from us again. My dad had an uncle who had gone off, long ago, to Canada. Just sent a letter when he got there. Prince Rupert in Canada. “Well, look what the cat dragged in,” said Sally to me. qxp:. 12/9/08 4:22 PM Try to Tell the Story Page 31 31 beside her. And all he brought in during the war was a dead rat every morning. ) “Hallo, Sally,” I said. ” “Was it? ” I realized she was the first woman I had left, and I was in tears there on the street in the lovely warm evening.

Qxp:. 12/9/08 4:22 PM Try to Tell the Story Page 43 43 Bert’s—a three-mile walk—and he gave a brilliant narrative of the whole show. And we were there just as Hitler went into the bunker. Story-telling is a knack, and he had it. Whereas Reg and Tommy, who had been there, if you asked them to talk about it, they waved you aside and said, “You don’t want to hear about that,” rather as if they’d been there, but in a daze. I had heard grown-up talks where Dad explained the war to them, and they nodded and drank it in—the big picture.

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