American Masters "A Letter to Elia"

American Masters "A Letter to Elia"

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 9:00pm

Pictured: Martin Scorsese (L) with Elia Kazan


The career of director Elia Kazan through the eyes of Martin Scorsese.

Elia Kazan’s name was brought front and center to the world again during the buzz surrounding the March 1999 Academy Awards. He was to receive an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, an honor that divided Hollywood. Then 89 years old, Kazan was primarily remembered for his impressive directorial body of work in the 1950s — On the Waterfront, East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire, Gentleman’s Agreement, A Face in the Crowd — but remained controversial. To many, he was singularly and permanently emblematic of the sin of “naming names” before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. To others, his extraordinary work deserved recognition. One of his strongest supporters — one of the men who stood tall with Kazan in front of that divided Hollywood audience in 1999 — was the filmmaker Martin Scorsese, the director of American Masters "A Letter to Elia" airing Friday, July 12 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV, a personal and poignant meditation on art and the creative impulse.

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