Friday, August 19, 2005

A Streetcar Named Desire


Dir: Elia Kazan

Acting Oscars went to Vivian Leigh, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden in Kazan's masterpiece about sex and insanity in the French Quarter. Oh yeah, and Brando is pretty good too.

Obviously it is a film I am revisiting. What stuck out in my mind this time through were some of the artistic elements that got overshadowed by the actors themselves. Sometimes lighting and symbols are the star of a good film. But nothing could outshine Blanche Du Bois. Yet, the lighting of the film (as Michelle was keen enough to point out) was impeccable. Lighting itself is a metaphor in the script, and the camera never misses a chance to reinforce that convention. Leigh always in soft focus and light. Brando in harsh, bright focus. And always eating, consuming, sweating, yelling.

This film stands up to hundreds of viewings which, fortune willing, I will accomplish in my years on the earth.