A Letter to Elia, Martin Scorsese’s highly personal homage to Elia Kazan (1909-2003), sketches a beautiful portrait that reveals just as much about Scorsese as about Kazan, whom he regard sas a kind of father. Just how much Kazan’s films meant to Scorsese as a boy is clear from this loving documentary. Scorsese, born of Italian parents, identified with Kazan, an Anatolian Greek who emigrated to America. Kazan later used this background in America, America (1963), his most personal film. Scorsese also talks about the characters from Kazan’s On the Waterfront (1954), people who come from a district just like the one where Scorsese lived (‘Little Italy’ in New York) and with whom he instinctively bonded. But Scorsese pays most attention to Kazan’s East of Eden (1955), in which James Dean plays his first leading role. This film about troubled family bonds reflects the complex emotions that Scorsese has with his own family.

Filmmaker
Kent Jones, Martin Scorsese
Country
USA
Year
2010
Medium
DCP
Length
60’
Language
English
Producer
Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Production Company
Sikelia Productions
Sales
ENDEAVOR (formerly WME ING Entertainment)
Writer
Kent Jones, Martin Scorsese
Cinematography
Mark Raker
Editor
Rachel Reichman
Sound Design
Bill Wander