A Streetcar Named Desire

Anthea  Slade

Carlton North, Australia

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A Streetcar Named Desire featured in Shameless Self-Promotion 8 July 2012

A Streetcar Named Desire was drawn with graphite and ink on the 3rd and 5th May 2011

The second in my Top 10 Movie Series.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Anthea Slade

A Streetcar Named Desire Detail by Anthea Slade

A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh is a powerful psychological film written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Elia Kazan with the provocative taunting by Stanley (Brando) of the emotionally and mentally fragile Blanche (Leigh) at its heart. This struggle is juxtaposed beside the intense passionate earthy chemistry between Stanley and his wife Stella.

In his Autobiography Brando Songs My Mother Taught Me Brando speaks at length about A Streetcar Named Desire. Here are a couple of snippets.

Brando on Stanley Kowalski: “A few writers suggested that in portraying the insensitive, brutish Stanley Kowalski I was really portraying myself, in other words the performance succeeded because I was Stanley Kowalski. I’ve run into a few Stanley’s in my life muscled, inarticulate, aggressive animals who go through life responding to nothing but their urges and never doubting themselves. But they weren’t me. I was the anthithesis of Stanley Kowalski. I was sensitive by nature and he was coarse, a man with unerring animal instincts and intuition. Later in my career I did a lot of research before playing a part, but I did not do any on him. He was a compendium of my imagination based on the lines of the play. I created him from Tennessees words.”

Brando on Tennessee Williams: “…at the height of his powers he was an extraordinary writer as well as a lovely man, extremely modest and soft spoken. Kazan accurately described him as a man with no skin: he was skinless defensive, vulnerable to everything and everybody, cruelly honest, a poet and a pristine soul who suffered from deep seated neurosis, a sensitive gentle man destined to destroy himself. He never lied. never said anything nasty about anybody, and was always witty, but he led a wounded life. If we had a culture that gave added support and assistance to a man of Tennessees delicacy, perhaps he would have survived.”

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