The Drama Book Shop is pleased to welcome internationally-renowned director and acting teacher, Jack Garfein, to speak about his groundbreaking, psychologically complex film, Something Wild, his book, Life and Acting: Techniques for the Actor and his world-famous Master Classes on acting technique now given at his newly opened Jack Garfein Studio in the Theater District. Mr. Garfein will be joined by critic, historian and author Peter Filichia for an intimate discussion about his work. The Wednesday, February 15th, 5:00pm event is free to the public and will be followed by a signing.
Garfein is the director of two politically and artistically challenging films: The Strange One (1957) and Something Wild (1961). In January 2017, the Criterion Collection released a special restored edition of Something Wild (https://www.criterion.com/films/28777-something-wild). The film stars Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker and features an original score by Aaron Copland, title sequence by Saul Bass, and photography by Eugène Schüfftan.
“Something Wild has been accorded the honor of joining the Criterion Collection with a special-edition Blu-ray featuring a new transfer and a slew of bonus features … (including a 40-minute Master Class given by Garfein). A new generation of viewers will have the opportunity to see it for themselves and realize what fans of the film have known for years—not only was Something Wild one of the most audacious and formally radical American movies of the 1960s, it still feels startlingly ahead of its time even more than a half-century since it first came out... Something Wild is one of the great and groundbreaking American films of the Sixties and hopefully this long-overdue Blu-ray will allow others to realize this at long last.” -- RogerEbert.com January 17, 2017 http://www.RogerEbert.com/demanders/the-audacious-something-wild-comes-to-criterion-blu-ray
The ultimate raconteur, director, writer, and teacher Jack Garfein worked with a who’s who of twentieth-century theater and film. He was the first director invited to join The Actors Studio, and with Paul Newman, cofounded the West Coast branch of The Actors Studio. He was also one of the cofounders of New York’s Theatre Row, where, in 1974, he created The Harold Clurman Theater, and later The Samuel Beckett Theatre. Garfein directed over 50 stage productions around the world, working directly with such playwrights as Samuel Beckett, Sean O'Casey, Eugene Ionesco, Arthur Miller, and William Inge. He discovered many prominent actors -- James Dean, Ben Gazzara, Steve McQueen, Bruce Dern, George Peppard, Jean Stapleton, Doris Roberts, Pat Hingle and Susan Strasberg, among them.
Born in 1930 in Czechoslovakia, Garfein survived 11 concentration camps and lost his entire family in World War II. In 1946, at the age of 15, he arrived in New York and soon after, won a scholarship to the Dramatic Workshop at The New School conducted by the influential German director Erwin Piscator. Among his classmates were Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, and Rod Steiger. In 1951 Garfein became involved with The Actors Studio, where he directed his first play, END AS A MAN, giving James Dean his first role. At the age of 23, beating Orson Welles’ record, Garfein received The Show Business Award as the best director on Broadway. It was the beginning of a long and prolific career for Garfein, both as a producer and director. Garfein actively participated in the development of The Actors Studio and collaborated with filmmakers such as Elia Kazan, John Ford, and George Stevens. He directed Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, Shelley Winters, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Ralph Meeker, Mark Richman, Mildred Dunnock and Elaine Stritch.
Garfein also created a unique acting technique, which he described in his book LIFE AND ACTING: Techniques for the Actor, published by Northwestern University Press in 2010. He has been teaching the craft and art of acting for the past 40 years in Paris, New York, London, Berlin, Madrid, and Vienna. Among his students were such prominent actors as Sissy Spacek, Bruce Dern, Irene Jacob, and others. In 1985, he founded his own studio, Le Studio Jack Garfein, in Paris. For his teaching work, he was awarded three Masque D’Or awards in France for best scene work and best acting teacher. He recently opened the New York branch of his award-winning acting studio. (www.garfeinstudio.com).
The Drama Book Shop, a 2011 Tony Award Honoree for Excellence in Theatre, is now celebrating its 100th Anniversary Year. The historic shop is located at 250 West 40th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. Events are free to the public. For more information on this and other upcoming events, please visit www.dramabookshop.com.