A rebel for all sea­sons

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - TARABRADY

JAMES DEAN SEA­SON IFI, Dublin Apr 25-May 1 ifi.ie

It would be cal­lous to sug­gest that James Dean’s tragic death in 1955 was a good ca­reer move. But one can’t help but won­der. Would Dean’s sullen, hand­some fea­tures adorn quite so many teenagers’ walls if he had aged along­side fel­low Lee Stras­berg stu­dents Dustin Hoff­man and Paul New­man? Would he be claimed by gays, straights and ev­ery­body in-be­tween if he had bloated like Brando?

Dean died hav­ing com­pleted star­ring work in only three movies, all good ones. A less man­nered screen pres­ence than many of his method act­ing con­tem­po­raries, Dean was Hol­ly­wood’s first main- stream movie teen an­ti­hero in Ni­cholas Ray’s Rebel with­out a Cause (see re­view, page 13). He is mis­un­der­stood on a bi­b­li­cal scale in Elia Kazan’s East of

Eden. And there’s a ro­mance, even, in his un­re­quited lover­turned-hate-filled hick mil­lion­aire in Ge­orge Stevens’s

Gi­ant (above). Newly re­stored dig­i­tal restora­tions of these iconic ti­tles will fea­ture at the IFI’s James Dean Sea­son.

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