eliza kazan

“He would get up, silent and remote from whoever happened to be with him, dress in a bathrobe, mix himself a double dry martini, put a cigarette in his long white holder, sit before his typewriter, grind in a blank sheet of paper, and so become Tennessee Williams.” -Eliza Kazan

East of Eden

Having not read the book, I have to say Eliza Kazan’s East of Eden was extremely good. The cast was phenomenal, the direction was extremely effective and ahead of it’s time, and the script was great (although I won’t deny it could've benefitted a great deal if they had added an extra 30 minutes to flesh out Kate and Aaron). The entire second half of the movie I was absurdly tense, and I felt every emotion I was supposed to all through my body. I love classic films, but I very rarely react so strongly on an emotional level to them.

I really must read that book. The only Steinbeck I’ve read is The Pearl, and that was 5 years ago. The only thing keeping me from running out and buying the book is it’s length, because at 600 pages it’s about twice as long as anything I’ve read recently, and I have a terrible attention span.

But yeah, great, not perfect film. I’d give it 3 ½ out of 4.

Watching East of Eden for the first time

I’m amazed by how ahead of it’s time the cinematography is. There are shots in this I would’ve sworn came from movies two decades later. I really should see more Eliza Kazan films, there was clearly a huge influence on Scorsese, Coppola, Lumet here.

Other than the direction and James Dean the movie is pretty good, and picking up as it goes. I should’ve watched this months ago.

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On the Waterfront, directed by Eliza Kazan, starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb. 1954, Columbia Pictures.

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