A Letter to Elia (2010)
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Critic Reviews for A Letter to Elia
... a first-person reflection on the films and the creator, a mix of history, biography and aesthetic appreciation...
Scorsese offers a stirring analysis of Kazan's artistry while also describing in heartfelt terms how these stories affected him as a nascent movie lover.
Audience Reviews for A Letter to Elia
I think I saw this on TCM a few years back. It is also included in The Elia Kazan Collection DVD box set. Scorsese hosts this love letter to the cinematic legacy of Kazan. Elia Kazan started in theatre as an actor and developed into a Broadway director before being called to Hollywood. Scorsese talks personally about growing up and seeing Kazan's movies with characters and locations that were familiar to fellow New Yorker Scorsese. Lots of clips from the films included in the DVD collection are shared. This doc touches upon the House UnAmerican Activities Committee hearings, but is not as much about Kazan's biography as his films influence on Scorsese.
Martin Scorsese's PBS documentary about the great American director Elia Kazan is much like it's title suggests, it is a love letter to the work of a great auteur. Scorsese's love and passion for this man's films is apparent. I've seen more in depth documentaries on auteurs and their work, but this was more a tribute than an exhaustive biography of Kazan's life and work.
Probably one of the best dedication documentaries I have ever seen. The way Scorsese discusses Kazan's work displays his true admiration, inspiration, and love for this great director. Scorsese isn't merely a person or director discussing the significance of the director; instead, he plays the role of someone who was truly inspired by the work. That is evident in the way Scorsese talks about not just the work, but the man. If you admire Scorsese, if you admire Kazan, this is the documentary for you. Made out of pure love and admiration from a true place.
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