Archive of films A Letter to Elia / A Letter to Elia

2010, 60 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2011

Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones’ feature-length documentary on Hollywood director Elia Kazan (1909-2003) is a tribute to a man who maintained his artistic identity in the face of the impersonal environment of America’s factory of dreams.


Director Elia Kazan (1909-2003) had an immense influence on audiences and film professionals alike, one of whom is director Martin Scorsese. In his work, the latter often refers to Hollywood’s living legacy, of which Kazan was a part as early as the 1940s thanks to movies such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) and Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director. In their documentary, Scorsese and codirector Kent Jones show respect and enthusiasm in their investigation of Kazan both as a person and a filmmaker. Knowledgeable guide Scorsese follows the creator of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954 – Oscar for direction), and A Face in the Crowd (1957) from his theatrical beginnings to the pantheon of filmmaking. Kazan, who was presented with an honorary Oscar in 1999, had a complex vision without unnecessary embellishment – but the directors also value him as a creator who maintained his artistic identity in the face of the impersonal environment of America’s factory of dreams.

About the director

Martin Scorsese (b. 1942, Queens, New York City) is one of the most highly awarded Hollywood personalities of the last 40 years. In 2006 he won an Academy Award for directing the drama The Departed. He has also earned respect as a documentarist of (primarily) the music industry. An acknowledged film buff, he often puts his expertise to work in his own movies (e.g. the TV doc A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies, 1995). Kent Jones (b. 1964, Missouri), journalist, screenwriter, and producer, cowrote the script for Scorsese’s autobiographical documentary project My Voyage to Italy (Il mio viaggio in Italia, 1999). He then codirected Scorsese’s TV documentary Lady by the Sea: The Statue of Liberty (2004). He also directed Scorsese in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007), a portrait of the legendary producer.


Sikelia Productions
110 West 57th Street, 5th Floor, 10019, New York
United States of America
Tel: +1 212 906 881 4
Fax: +1 212 906 889 1

Echo Bridge Entertainment
Wilshire Blvd. 8383, Suite 530, 90211, Beverly Hills
United States of America
Tel: +1 323 658 790 0
Fax: +1 323 658 792 2

About the film

Color, HD CAM

Section: Out of the Past
Director: Martin Scorsese, Kent Jones
Screenplay: Martin Scorsese, Kent Jones
Dir. of Photography: Mark Raker
Music: Scott Lehrer, Leslie Stifelman
Editor: Rachel Reichman
Producer: Martin Scorsese
Production: Sikelia Productions
Contact: Sikelia Productions, Echo Bridge Entertainment

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