Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Elia Kazan's "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Watched the film on my laptop on Sunday night, the 1993 re-release with the cuts restored. It felt melodramatic, rather than dramatic. I would like to watch the play, and compare it with the film. Film robs the drama of its physicality, I think, the menacing swagger of Stanley Kowalski, the sexual tension between Stanley and his wife, Stella, and the shocking rape of Blanche DuBois. On film, the smashing of windows and crockery blended into the soundtrack. 

I still remember the visceral shock of watching Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge in the theater. The actor who played Eddie Carbone was a powerful physical presence. He dominated the stage in all three dimensions, and then some. Film not only converts flesh into celluloid, it also demystifies the body by making a picture of it. 

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