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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 05/08/2007

Comment Box: Elia Kazan, Go Ahead and Watch


"A Face in the Crowd" is a[n] Elia Kazan flick. We still blackballing him, or can I watch this now? -- Submitted during last week's Celebritology Live discussion

You're referring, of course, to the director's 1952 testimony to Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in which Kazan named eight of his old friends as members of the Communist Party. Though Kazan later argued that the names were already known to the committee, he was thereafter dropped by many former friends and colleagues and made the target of a "reverse blacklist" that (some argue) limited his exposure and his career.

In 1999 Martin Scorcese and Robert DeNiro led Kazan on stage to receive a lifetime achievement Oscar to the applause of stars like Karl Malden and Vanessa Redgrave (though some, like Ed Begley, Jr. and Holly Hunter, sat on their hands in protest). Public reception was also mixed, with protesters outside the ceremony carrying placards reading "Elia Kazan: Nominated for Benedict Arnold Award" and "Don't Whitewash the Blacklist."

Kazan's credits include groundbreaking movies like the Brando-fronted "Streetcar Named Desire" and "On the Waterfront," Andy Griffith's typecast-shattering turn in the above-mentioned "A Face in the Crowd" and Natalie Wood's Oscar-nominated "Splendor in the Grass" performance.

Kazan died in 2003, leaving a conflicted legacy tied to one of the darkest periods of American history. I have a hard time summoning the requisite outrage to forego watching the movies listed above. Perhaps, as Jacob Weisberg wrote in a Slate article in 1999, "He [Kazan] deserves an Oscar as much as anyone living -- for best director, not for best human being. Who in the movie industry qualifies for that second one anyway?"

I heard on the radio that Brad and Angelina were "all but done." Unfortunately, my phone rang and I had to get it (since I am at work...), so I didn't get to hear anything else. I've been unable to confirm this by searching on the Internet, but most sites are blocked on my work computer. Can you do some digging into this? -- via e-mail

Don't worry, you didn't miss much. The answer to your question continues a discussion we started in last week's Celebritology Live chat about the conflicting reports to which we, the celebrity obsessed, are daily subjected: Are Brad and Angelina "exuding old world romance" and "enjoying steamy romps with a 23-year-old supermodel" or is Brad "back in the arms of ex-wife Jennifer Aniston" while Angelina Jolie is "locked in a Prague hotel bathroom?"

Unfortunately, none of the above stories contain any remotely corroborated tidbits -- we have the usual "sources" and "friends close to the couple" which is tabloid shorthand for "Yo, I totally made this up." Still, there are a few conclusions we can draw from a careful read:

Two actors named Brad Pitt (who is a "Hollywood hunk") and Angelina Jolie (who "flaunts sexual power") share custody of four children and are currently residing in Prague while Jolie films the movie "Wanted."

Is their relationship in trouble? Your guess is as good as mine.

At first I was happy to hear that Paris got jail time but I've got to mirror the other posters who are torn. I think this will be a blip on the radar and she's going to come out no different than she went in, with "Free Paris T-shirts" no doubt... -- Petal reacts to Paris Hilton Gets Jail Time

From your lips to the entrepreneurial ears of these fine businesses, that have already rushed "Free Paris" t-shirts into production. If you're more of a hater, you may want to snap up your own "Go Away Paris" baseball cap or thong from Citizens for a Better America a group that is apparently capable of riding the coattails of the latest celebrity scandals, but not updating their Web site.

Comment of the Week:
"You all are a bunch of mindless, brainwashed, blahblahblahberring, which hunting, sycophantic, moronic, hate mongering, jealous, unhappy, sad, lifeless, pestilent, pernicious and loathsome A-Holes." - Little Nepeatize takes the time to put our interest in TomKat in perspective

Have Celebritological questions? Submit them to Thursday's Celebritology Live discussion or drop me an e-mail at celebritology@washingtonpost.com.

By Liz Kelly  |  10:30 AM ET, 05/08/2007

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