A Great Answer from Woody Allen


The biography is framed by the question of whether Kazan’s work, which included On the Waterfront, would be eclipsed in Hollywood by his decision to name Communist associates before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  How do you think the public should judge Kazan? 

I’m a great compartmentaliser. I always feel one has nothing to do with the other.  You can watch Triumph of the Will – it’s a magnificent work of art – and you can still hate Leni Riefenstahl because she was a Nazi. You can listen to Wagner’s music – it’s magnificent, and he was a terrible person.

The same thing is true here. I’m not saying Kazan was a terrible person. Those issues were extremely complex and the easiest thing to do was just to remove yourself and self-righteously make criticisms. Some of those criticisms might be very justified when you argue them out, I don’t know. That’s a different argument.

But the films that he did, the plays that he did – his creative work was wonderful.  Whatever you think of Kazan politically, it has nothing to do with the fact that the guy was a great director.


Popular posts from this blog

Central Planning Works!