Work stopped yesterday afternoon. That’s why I left New York City yesterday morning, before the deluge. Anyone flying anywhere today or tonight is asking for it. CNN just showed a motion map of all the flights happening today. Hundreds (thousands?) of flying blue dots. Forget it. And for what? In-laws and room-temperature gravy and yams and sweet potatoes and lots of TV watching, and mostly football. Bah, humbug.

If only Drew McWeeny was around to show me how to find joy in all this.

I’ll be watching mostly Academy screeners and a couple of films from the Elia Kazan box set, particularly Letter to Elia, which I saw initially during the N.Y. Film Festival.

Letter to Elia, on the other hand, is a delicate and beautiful little poem. It’s a personal tribute to a director who made four films — On The Waterfront, East of Eden, Wild River and America America — that went right into Scorsese’s young bloodstream and swirled around inside for decades after. Scorcese came to regard Kazan as a father figure, he says in the doc. And after watching you understand why.

Letter to Elia is a deeply touching film because it’s so close to the emotional bone. The sections that take you through the extra-affecting portions of Waterfront and Eden got me and held me like a great sermon. It’s like a church service, this film. It’s pure religion.

“More than a few Kazan-haters (i.e., those who couldn’t forgive the director for confirming names to HUAC in 1952) were scratching their heads when Scorsese decided to present Kazan’s special lifetime achievement Oscar in 1999. Letter to Elia full explains why, and what Scorsese has felt about the legendary Kazan for the last 55, going-on-60 years.”