A rebel for all seasons
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.