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 “Elia   Kazan   (1909-­‐2003)   was   a   defining   figure   in   the   development   and   rejuvenation   of  American  cinematic  expression  as  well  as  in  shaping  a  modern  perception  of  acting   both   in   theatre   and   for   film   in   general.   In   the   1930s   Kazan’s   career   at   the   Group   Theater   and   the  Workers’   Laboratory   Theater   was   decidedly   influential   in   his   career in   the   cinema,   first   with   20th   Century   Fox   and   later   as   a   highly   sought-­‐after independent   director.

His   time   in   the   theater   established   his   collaboration   with   the   great   writers,   such   as   John   Steinbeck   and   Tennessee   Williams,   and   allowed   him   to   emerge   as   an   actors’   director   predominantly,   who   was   able   to   extract   famous   performances   from   younger   actors,   such   as   Marlon   Brando   and   James   Dean,   as   well   as   from   veterans   such   as   Vivien   Leigh,   Montgomery   Clift   and   Kirk   Douglas.   Kazan’s   career  was  tainted  by  his  testimony  against  his  colleagues  during  the  McCarthy  Era  in   1952.  The  extent  to  which  a  guilty  conscience  can  be  traced  in  certain  pivotal  films  of   his   such   as   “On   the   Waterfront”   (1954)   or   “The   Arrangement”   (1969)   has   been   widely  discussed.  However,  nobody  doubts  the  power  of  Kazan’s  great  creations  with   his  strong  critique  of  media  politics  in  “A  Face  in  the  Crowd”  (1957)  or  his  memorable   adaptations  of  the  Tennessee  Williams’  plays  “A  Streetcar  Named  Desire”  (1951)  and   “Baby   Doll”   (1956).

Kazan,   born   to   Greek   parents   who   had   emigrated   from   Constantinople   (translator’s   note   now   Istanbul,   Turkey)   to   America,   always   kept   a   critical  view  of  the  contradictions  of  American  society.  These  are  depicted  in  “East  of   Eden”   (1955),   “Splendor   in   the   Grass”   (1961)   and   “Wild   River”   (1960).   Lastly,   his   handling   of   the   subject   of   immigration   and   the   oppression   of   Armenians   and   Greeks   shown   for   the   first   time   to   a   worldwide   audience   with   unparalleled   courage   in  “America   America”   remains   significant.

This   retrospective   by   the   Greek   Film   Archive   aims  at  reassessing,  from  the  Greek  side,  the  crucial  contribution  of  this  filmmaker  to   the  reinvention  of  the  cinematic  language,  as  Martin  Scorsese  has  already  attempted   to  do  in  his  documentary  “A  Letter  To  Elia”  (co-­‐directed  by  Kent  Jones,  2010),  which  is   also  included  in  this  tribute”.   Lastly,  shooting  “America,  America”  in  1964  served  as  a  great  apprenticeship   for   Greek   technicians   and   directors.

Notably,   Nikos   Koundouros   became   close   friends   with   Elia   Kazan   and   incorporated   many   of   the   teachings   of   the   great   master.   In   1978   Koundouros   shot   the   emblematic   “1922”,   an   overwhelming   account   of   the   defeat   of   the   Greek   Army   and   the   destruction   of   Smyrna.   A   younger   director,   Pantelis   Voulgaris,   also   became   close   friends   with   Elia   Kazan.   I   believe   that   the   distillation   of   this   relationship   is   reflected   in   the   bitter   elegy   on   immigration   that   is   Voulgaris’   2004   film   “Brides”.   We   are   delighted   to   include   these   two   films   in   the   tribute   and   to   listen   to   the   two   directors   speak   about   their   meeting   and   friendship   with  Kazan”

Maria  Komninos

General  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Directors,  Greek  Film  Archive

Professor,  University  of  Athens

To αφιέρωμα Αναφορά στον Ηλία Καζάν / Report to Elia Kazan διοργανώνεται από την Ταινιοθήκη της Ελλάδος στo πλαίσιο της πράξης «Η Κινηματογραφοφιλία στη Νέα Εποχή» που χρηματοδοτείται από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση - Ευρωπαϊκό Ταμείο Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης και εντάσσεται στο Επιχειρησιακό Πρόγραμμα ΠΕΠ ΑΤΤΙΚΗ του ΕΣΠΑ 2007-2013. Όλες οι δράσεις πραγματοποιούνται υπό την αιγίδα του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού.