By Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan was once the 20 th century’s such a lot celebrated director of either level and display, and this enormous, revelatory e-book exhibits us the grasp at work. Kazan’s record of Broadway and Hollywood successes—A Streetcar Named wish, dying of a salesperson, at the Waterfront, to call a few—is a testomony to his profound impression at the paintings of directing. This striking booklet, drawn from his notebooks, letters, interviews, and autobiography, finds Kazan’s technique: how he exposed the “spine,” or middle, of every script; how he analyzed every piece when it comes to his personal event; and the way he made up our minds the specifics of his construction. And within the ultimate part, “The Pleasures of Directing”—written in the course of Kazan’s ultimate years—he turns into a smart previous professional providing recommendation and perception for budding artists, writers, actors, and directors.
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Others in the cast included Priscilla Lane, Jack Carson, Richard Whorf, and Betty Field. , Kazan reconsidered his original involvement. FROM THE JOURNAL DECEMBER 25, 1940 I have made a number of very serious mistakes in connection with Hot Nocturne. ) unless I am convinced it is in the best possible shape. Also, unless I am really sold on it. If I am not sold on the play, something is wrong. And I should keep after it until I have it fixed. This is what is known as Professional Integrity. This play was not in shape for production three months ago when I first started peddling it.
Welles has for two seasons done STUNTS with old plays. He has focused attention on the production, upon production as an art, and taken it off the play and the star—where it has been for the entire history of the American Theatre. But Mr. Welles, being merely interested in showing off, in stunting, in shocking, surprising, and upsetting a staid Broadway theatre, has nothing more to say than the theatre he is revolting against. In Mr. Welles's productions there is a certain vitality and energy, but no total meaning, no sense of the thick fabric of life, of its real BODY.
The actors too were directed to play in alternating moods, sometimes comic, and sometimes with the anguish of spiritual striving; in fact, its playing was not naturalistic. Clurman depended heavily on offstage music both for transitions and for emotional highlighting. You could almost understand the action without the dialogue, as if it were a pantomime. The truest and most individually poignant moments of the play were where laughter and tears alternated in quick succession, deriving from the same incident.