Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Elia Kazan

Since the Oscars will be televised at the month, we have decided to quote Academy-Award film directors throughout February. Keep in mind that the number of acclaimed film directors who never won an Oscar is a bit shocking, as it includes the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Orson Welles.

But, one film director who is a worth Oscar-winner is Elia "Gadge" Kazan (1909-2003) who won Best Director Oscars for "Gentleman's Agreement" (1948) and "On the Waterfront" (1955). His direction of the screen version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951), written by Tennessee Williams, is frequently cited as one of best screen adaptations of a stage play.

Kazan also won three Tony Awards for Best Director, including two Arthur Miller plays "All My Sons" (1947) and "Death of a Salesman" (1949) as well as "J.B.," a 1958 play by Archibald Macleish based on the Biblical story of Job. Cult actor John Cazale, who died at age 42 in 1978, starred in a 1962 off-Broadway production of "J.B.," which was not directed by Kazan.

The son of Anatolian Greek immigrants also directed "Viva Zapata!" (1952) with his frequent collaborator Marlon Brando; a film which us Netflix users are eagerly awaiting for. Interestingly enough, in a editorial by William Kristol in the conservative magazine "The Weekly Standard," this film was cited by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as his personal favorite. The editorial was written when McCain was running as the Republic nominee for president in 2008.

Kazan also helmed a screen version of "America! America!" (1963) based on his own novel. The movie was partially filmed in Istanbul, Turkey, the city of Kazan's birth. Kazan recieved an Oscar nomination for directing that film as well.

Here is our quote from Gadge:

"A good director's not sure when he gets on the set what he's going to do."

SIDEBAR: Having just returned from The Bahamas, we wanted to recommend other potential tourists to be sure to visit the Ardasta Zoo in the capital of Nassau where one can watch a dancing pink flamingo show at 10:30, 2:10 and 4:10. It would be quite ironic if film director John Waters was at one of these shows (forgive the movie people humor).

In Baltimore, which is the hometown of the eccentric filmmaker, the Maryland Zoo is hosting an adults only Sex in the Zoo talk about the mating habits of animals. Our collective jaws recently dropped when we read about how porcupines mated in the last issue of "Mental Floss."

SIDEBAR 2: For some reason, Godzilla and Quick Draw McDraw are two of the hot links on our blog this week!