Cover image for Tennessee Williams : a portrait in laughter and lamentation
Tennessee Williams : a portrait in laughter and lamentation
Rasky, Harry, 1928-2007.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oakville, ON ; Niagra Falls, NY : Mosaic, [2000]

Physical Description:
vii, 148 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3545.I5365 Z823 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This is the story of the making of a friendship and a film. In the process, there emerges a dynamic, vibrant portrait of the man who is widely recognised as America's greatest playwright, Tennessee Williams. Harry Rasky, one of the most prolific and innovative documentary filmmakers, persuaded Tennessee Williams to become the subject of a film.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A record of the making of Tennessee Williams' South, Rasky's 1973 documentary that probed Williams's character, writings and the formative influence of his Deep South childhood, this book also offers a warm recollection of the Canadian filmmaker's friendship with Williams from the early 1970s until the playwright's death in 1983. Beneath the deliberately outrageous public persona Williams flaunted as his career declined, Rasky found an emotionally fragile, brooding soul pleading for understanding, a rebellious spirit plagued by a gnawing sense of nonbeing that he overcame by continually reasserting his existence through art. Relaxed and informal, Williams talked to Rasky about his evolution as a writer, his belief in God, his unforgiving relationship with parents who orphaned him early. The narrative hops from filming sessions in New Orleans, Key West and New York to meetings in Hollywood and Toronto to Williams's birthplace in Mississippi and on to Atlanta, where Rasky in 1978 directed Williams's play Tiger Tail. As Williams discusses his plays, stories and poems in the context of his life, Rasky enlists Jessica Tandy, Michael York, Colleen Dewhurst and other stars to dramatize excerpts from the plays. At one point Rasky has dinner with Williams and the playwright's lobotomized, beloved older sister, Rose, whose operation (approved by their parents) left a deep psychic scar on Williams. Rasky offers a welcome and subtle biography of the mysterious playwright. Photos. Main selection of Doubleday/Bertelsmann Stage and Screen Book Club. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved