Speaker: Prof Vrasidas Karalis
The lecture explores the artistic and intellectual development of Elia Kazan from his early theatrical productions, his films to his final autobiographical books. It focuses especially on Kazan’s most ambitious work America, America (1964) and its fragmented structure and nostalgic re-construction of origins as an Anatolian Greek persecuted by the Ottomans to abandon his country and found refuge in the ‘mythical’ land of America. Exploring his other famous movies especially On the Waterfront (1952) the lecture addresses the question of the identity of the outsiders and the compromises that they must make in order to be accepted by their adopted countries. Within this context the lecture discusses the notorious testimony of Kazan at the Anti-American Activities Committee and the controversy that followed him throughout his life.
Vrasidas KARALIS teaches Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney where he holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos Chair in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. He has published extensively on Byzantine historiography, Greek political life, Greek Cinema, European cinema, the work of Patrick White and contemporary political philosophy. He has edited volumes on modern European political philosophy, especially on Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. His books include Recollections of Mr. Manoly Lascaris (2007), The Demons of Athens (2014), A History of Greek Cinema (2012), Realism and Post-War Greek Cinema (2017). He is currently working on the films of Elia Kazan and John Cassavetes.
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