Sam's Reviews > Kazan on Directing

Kazan on Directing by Elia Kazan
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's review
Nov 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: read-2011, finished-non-fiction

Kazan's words on directing all ring genuine and true, and I think they should be read by anyone who is interested in stage and/or film directing. 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.

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