In the autumn of , Elia Kazan, director of such classic films as Gentleman's Agree- clusion of the program, Mr. Kazan gave this timeless talk to students. In the autumn of , director Elia Kazan was honored with a two-week retrospective of his The film director knows that beneath the surface of his screen-. Kazan on Directing [Elia Kazan] on ruthenpress.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Elia Kazan was the twentieth century's most celebrated director of both.
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Kazan on Directing. LN US/Data/Biographies-Memoirs. 5/5 From Reviews. Elia Kazan. *Download PDF | ePub | DOC | audiobook | ebooks. Kazan on Directing book. Read 15 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Elia Kazan was the mid-twentieth century's most celebrated direc. As Elia Kazan wrote in preparation for a book on his craft, a director should “ avoid being a nice guy, a decent guy, a conforming guy.
Art does work in and for the world, whereas therapy is self-directed and seeks relief from doubt or unhappiness. Self-affirmation in the guise of art leads down the slippery slope of self-display.
Living as we do in a celebrity culture, we have a great need to be special and different. Hindu belief is interesting here, for Self in their philosophy is that which you share with all creation.
A Hindu shares his or her identity with a tree, a mountain, a bird, a crippled child. The Western idea of Self is by contrast very isolating. Most people trying to create films actually subscribe to both ends of the spectrum. They want to be individual and recognized, but also to create something universal and useful to others.
Problems arise from control issues, competitiveness, or a refusal to make or keep commitments. Anyone can modify their asocial habits if it matters enough, and some of the group work in film schools exists to sort through and conquer these problems, and to help students locate their best partners. George Tillman, Jr.
After leaving college, they began their professional output with Soul Food and have worked successfully together ever since. People find whom they need and make the relationship that works. Surely, to direct, you just need to learn the tools of cinema, and the rest follows! A year or two later, they are anxiously casting around for a decent project. From your first efforts, I believe you must tell stories expressing ideas and values about the lives around you, or your films will be hollow and give audiences nothing to which they can respond.
No matter how competently you handle the tools and the medium, your storytelling will be colorless and meaningless. How, then, can you prepare to make compelling screen fiction? Actually, your options already exist and simply need uncovering. So what are these marks, and how do you recognize them? Everyone has had the experience of suddenly discovering a pattern to some part of their life, and thus feeling the rush of relief and excitement that comes from seeing what has been driving them.
Once upon a time, when most people lived in small settlements, everyone saw how you acted over time, and could connect this with your temperament and history. This is still true in farming communities. Lacking those reflections from others, we see our own tendencies only with effort and difficulty. As part of a study program, I was required to watch all my documentary films and write a self-assessment. My films were about very different topics, so I was astonished to discover there was a common theme linking them all.
Rather easily, I have to say. And where did the theme come from? The answers came sailing in like homing pigeons. For several years, my father, a foreigner, was away serving on merchant ships, and my mother found nothing in common with her rural neighbors. At a local school, I had to contend with kids jeering at the way I spoke.
I was derided, my possessions envied, and sometimes I was ambushed. This is something I would have to handle alone because adults were too busy. At home, I was one person; outside it, 1 I am indebted to my Buddhist colleague Dean Doreen Bartoni for enlightening conversations around this subject, as well as to her example of egoless leadership at Columbia College Chicago. I found I could evade tight spots by making people laugh. Later in life, reading about English rural misery and exploitation, I began to understand the innate hostility my type represented.
Losing my fear, relationships with fellow conscripts in the Royal Air Force—where the whole thing might easily have been repeated—were quite different and very gratifying. The common thread in my films came from my character, and my character came from having lived on both sides of a social barrier and empathizing with those in similar predicaments: the black person in a white neighborhood, the Jew among Gentiles, the child among adults.
Any story with these trace elements quickens my pulse. This vision was of life as a succession of imprisonments, each of which, given determination and friends, one can overcome. The stories you tell always arise from a core of belief, which is your philosophy.
Should one seek professional help in doing so? There is a different answer for each person here, but psychotherapy is hard work, and those who pursue it usually do so only to get relief from unhappiness. Making art is a little different, for it arises from burning curiosity and the need to create order and suggest meaning. You should do whatever prepares you best for this. Below are techniques for clarifying your sense of direction and the imprint your life has made on you.
If this is interesting, you can explore it in greater depth in my book Developing Story Ideas, 2nd ed. Focal Press, Films appear to look resolutely outward and not inward at their makers, so many who work in film do not seek what really drives them. But if drama is to have a spark of individuality, it must come from a strenuous inner dialogue.
And whatever starts with yourself and your time becomes ultimately a dialogue with your audience. Reminders of them unfailingly arouse you to strongly partisan feelings. This is your savings bank of deepest experience, and finding how to explore and use it in your work—even if your experiences seem few and personal—can keep you creatively occupied for life. I am talking not about autobiography, but about a core of deeply felt experiences whose themes apply to endless situations outside yourself.
Ideation—the business of defining dramatically charged ideas—begins when you set aside some quiet, self-reflective time away from the hubbub of normal life. Make everything sharply particular. Never settle for fuzzy generalizations. Consider them a starting point from which to refine and sharpen what you are reaching for. Work quietly and persistently. Stay open to surprises and changes of direction.
Good ideas are not ordered into existence, they are beckoned, and the better ones hide behind a facade of stereotypes.
Your job is to find them and lure them out. At first, it seems that nothing dramatic has happened in your life to draw upon.
Perhaps the tensions you have witnessed or experienced never matured into any action. Any event or situation that is sharply etched in your consciousness awaits shaping into something that expresses emotion and a theme or vision of life. Depending on your tastes and temperament, this may be tragic, comic, satiric, realistic, surreal, or melodramatic. Any real-life situation containing characters, events, situations, and conflicts has the elements of drama, and thus the potential to become a full-blown story.
Change one or two of the main elements in this borrowed framework, develop your own characters, and the meaning and impact of the entire work will begin to evolve in their own special direction. Isabelle Huppert plays a repressed and sexually perverted piano teacher who falls for a charming student.
The script is based on a novel by Elfriede Jelinek, formerly a pianist and teacher herself. Anyone who studies real lives knows that nothing is more mysterious than the actual. For films of a few minutes, try taking something small that you learned the hard way, apply it to a character quite unlike yourself, and make a modest comment on the human condition. By so doing, you can avoid the self-indulgence afflicting most student films. After all, your work is going to be your portfolio, your precious reel that tells future employers what you can do.
Most importantly, it allows you to concentrate on developing dramatic and thematic truths instead of getting tangled in questions of taste and biographical accuracy. Using the displacement principle forced the director into a more empathic relationship with all of them and raised the level of his thematic discourse. Here are some exercises that you should find helpful. This is not difficult, for the human memory jettisons the mundane and retains only what it finds significant.
You can do it this way: 1. Go somewhere private and make rapid, short notes of each major experience just as it comes to mind. Keep going until you have at least 10 or 12 experiences by which you were deeply moved to joy, to rage, to panic, to fear, to disgust, to anguish, to love, etc.
Organize them into groups, giving a name to each group and the relationships it deals with. Some moving experiences will be positive with feelings of joy, relief, discovery, laughter , but most will be painful.
Make no distinction, for there is no such thing as a negative or positive truth. To discriminate like this is to censor, which is just another way to prolong the endless and wasteful search for acceptability. Truth is truth—period! What kind of expressive work should come from someone marked by such experiences? You should be able to place yourself in a different light and find trends, even a certain vision of the world, clustering around these experiences.
Your object is to find a storytelling role that you can play with all your heart. If you find nothing is taking shape, explain your notes and groupings to a friend. Particular characters or situations in films, plays, or books trigger a special response in us, so they offer useful clues to our underlying makeup.
This project takes another route to finding how you resonate. List six or eight characters from literature or fiction with whom you have a special affinity. Arrange them by their importance to you.
An affinity can be hero worship, but becomes more interesting when you respond to darker or more complex qualities. Do the same thing for public figures like actors, politicians, sports figures, etc.
Make a third list of people you know or have known, but leave out immediate family if they complicate the exercise. Take the top two or three in each list and write a brief description of what, in human or even mythical qualities, each person represents, and what dilemma seems to typify them. If, for instance, O. Simpson were on your list, he might represent an Othello whose jealous passion destroys what he most loves.
Now write a self-profile based on what the resonances suggest. Unless you have a period of intense dream activity, you will have to keep a record over many months before common denominators and motifs become clear. To do this, keep a notebook next to your bed, and awake gently so you hold on to the dream long enough to write it down. If you get really interested in this work, you will spontaneously awake in the night after a good dream to write it down.
Often dreams project tantalizing images that are symbolically charged with meaning.
You, too, have hidden patterns and propitious images waiting in the wings to be recognized and developed. At the beginning, you get clues, clues lead to discoveries, discoveries lead to movement in your work, and movement leads to new clues. It never stops opening new doors to meaning, and keeps revealing connections to an ever larger whole.
It will happen if you find that special element that fascinates you. It might be expressed through mountaineering, the rescue of animals, something involving water and boats, or love between school friends. You explore it by producing something external to your own thoughts: the piece of expressive work. What begins as a circumscribed personal quest soon leads outward. You might take two opposing parts of your own character during a trying period of your life and make them into two sparring characters, perhaps making imaginative use of two wellknown political or historical characters to do so.
This search for the truths underlying your formation and patterns starts feeding itself once you make a commitment to expressing something about it. A piece of work—whether a painting, a short story, or a film script—is both the evidence of movement and the engine of progress during the search for meanings. Your work becomes the trail of your own evolution and a reflection of your times. Profiling favorite historical personalities, social assumptions, political events, or the temperaments of the people most influential in your life will help shape and sharpen your consciousness.
By doing such things well, you can entertain and excite your audience. Whether they know it or not, they, too, are pursuing a quest and starving to join a journey of exploration like yours. Accomplished writers switch rapidly between different types of thinking, and change hats as a matter of course. Can his girlfriend help him make the transition? The premise is revisited periodically to see how the core idea has evolved. Ideation and story development call on taste and instincts.
At this stage, the writer may freely follow inspiration, intuition, and emotional memory rather than objectivity and logic. And no work of art can mitigate that fact.
Another was French director Jules Dassin, who, like many of that era, never did forgive his former friend. Kazan had an eye for story — and for genius. And whether he was making household names of the likes of Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller while on Broadway, or Brando and Dean while in Hollywood, he produced genius too. And if one can overlook the HUAC incident, there is much to be appreciated.
As everyone recalls, the film tells the story of one Terry Malloy Brando , a punch-drunk longshoreman who ends up ratting out the mob. That Malloy was pushed way past shove before he finally broke the code would seem to echo what happened to Kazan. In a letter to Brando included in this book, Kazan likens the character to the real-life Tony Mike DeVincenzo, a mafia soldier who testified before the Waterfront Crime Commission. And no matter how many mobsters say they wanna kill Sammy the Bull for what he did to the Gambinos, the fact is ratting has become part of our culture.
Was Kazan the first to flip the script? Of course not. But he was among the most visible. This behind-the-lens look at the thinkings of a cat who claimed three Oscars, five Tonys and four Golden Globes over the course of his life, pretty much sums it up nicely.
I suppose the moral of our story is this: Nov 17, Sam rated it really liked it Shelves: Even for the casual film fan, the insights he provides on Streetcar and On the Waterfront are entertaining to read.
The highlight of the book is Kazan's recounting of his relationship with Tennessee Williams. Personally, Kazan's advice on directing reminded me of my own experiences, validating my reflections on what I consider to be my own mistakes and missteps. In all, this is a very worthwhile volume from an unquestionably skilled director who made some very questionable decisions away from the camera. A word of warning: The afterword by Robert Cornfield is a very bizarre exoneration of Kazan's decision to name names.
Cornfield goes so far as to excoriate Arthur Miller for writing the The Crucible , claiming Miller's critique of Kazan in the character of John Proctor needed Kazan's own expertise in order to be made effective.
May 26, Abieffendi rated it really liked it Shelves: Siapa suka film-film karya sutradara Martin Scorsese? Elia Kazan, adalah sutradara tersohor beberapa generasi sebelum Scorsese, seperti yang ia ungkapkan dalam foreword buku ini, melalui karyanya adalah inspirator utama Scorsese untuk menjadi seorang sutradara.
Mungkin mayoritas penonton generasi sekarang tidak mengenal siapa itu Elia Kazan. Karya-karya legendarisnya-- Streetcar Named Desire, Splendor in the Grass, East of Eden, On the waterfront-- kolaborasinya dengan aktor-aktor yang kemudian Siapa suka film-film karya sutradara Martin Scorsese? Karya-karya legendarisnya-- Streetcar Named Desire, Splendor in the Grass, East of Eden, On the waterfront-- kolaborasinya dengan aktor-aktor yang kemudian besar seperti Marlon Brando, James Dean, dan Montgomery Clift, memastikan namanya sebagai salah satu sutradara-besar pada masanya.
Buku ini sangat saya rekomendasikan terutama bagi orang-orang yang terpanggil jiwanya untuk menjadi seorang sutradara-film. Namun bisa juga bagi seniman dan budayawan. Jul 18, Royce Ratterman rated it really liked it. A wealth of information for the director, thespian, playwright, and anyone-and-everyone involved in theater and film. Personal observations and insights abound within the pages of this work. Finding what the director sees as the 'message' of the work and delivering that message via the natural innate character qualities of the actor is the fine-honed skill of a knowing director's eye, and this book will grant the reader with an overview of a man who spent his life doing just that.
I found this work A wealth of information for the director, thespian, playwright, and anyone-and-everyone involved in theater and film. I found this work of immense interest.
Read for personal research. Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast. I found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs and desires. May 04, J. First, I do not want to be a film director. I read this book because of my admiration of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller's plays. If you don't know all of his films, you'll need to do a little Googling to catch up. Overall, this is a look into the mind of one of theatre and cinema's greatest.
After reading, you will see how a competitive, ambitious and creative mind works. He makes no apologies, and frankly who needs them. The honesty of his writing is the passion of a true artist. I'm glad First, I do not want to be a film director. I'm glad I took the time to read the entire book because I'll never look at Streetcar Named Desire and the Death of a Salesman the same way again.
Aug 31, Z Bloom rated it really liked it. I especially like the chapter about A Streetcar Named Desire it's a must read for every young stage director. But I have to admit that expected something more about Cat On A Hot Tin Roof the correspondence between Kazan and Williams was an interesting read, but I needed more insight into the process, into Kazan's thoughts about the play etc. And too sad that Kazan didn't finish 'The Pleasure of Directing'. Anyway, what a joy it probably was for all these young aspiring actors, directors, pl I especially like the chapter about A Streetcar Named Desire it's a must read for every young stage director.
Anyway, what a joy it probably was for all these young aspiring actors, directors, playwrights attending the lectures Kazan gave at the Actors' Studio back then. Sep 08, Sean M Puckett rated it really liked it.
A good, if rather meandering, look at Kazan's work through his own notes and journal entries. One could distill his thoughts about directing down into ten pages, but the rest of the book is still good supporting material. Jul 19, Alexandra Richland rated it it was amazing.
Kazan is my favorite director.
To receive a detailed look into his thought processes and techniques on my favorite plays and movies was invaluable. I highly recommend this book - as well as his autobiography, A Life, which is the best book I've ever read. Dec 28, Jim rated it it was amazing. So good. Eye opening in regards to Hollywood history as well as quality movie making, to say the least.. Nice collection of Kazan's thoughts on directing for the stage and film arranged by individual projects--culled from notes, Journals, letters,etc.
Full review on Blogcritics. Nick Cannavino rated it it was amazing Jul 07, Maura Anderson rated it liked it Jul 21, Peter Catania rated it really liked it Aug 26, Benjamin rated it it was amazing Mar 04,