The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

DVD - 2015
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Looks at the remarkable genius of Orson Welles on the eve of his centenary - the enigma of his career as a Hollywood star, a Hollywood director (for some a Hollywood failure), and a crucially important independent filmmaker. Orson Welles's life was magical: a musical prodigy at age ten, a director of Shakespeare at fourteen, a painter at sixteen, a star of stage and radio at twenty, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth
Publisher: [New York, New York] : Cohen Media Group, 2015
Copyright Date: 2015
ISBN: 9781417244539
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (94 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,surround,stereo,Dolby digital
video file,DVD video
Other Standard Identifier: 741952791997


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Feb 11, 2017

I am not a big Welles fan - I remember him mostly for his appearances on the late night talk show circuit. but his is a large presence, both literally and figuratively, in cinema - and watching this doc gave me a better understanding of the man and his ideas.

Jul 04, 2016

"(Hollywood) is the biggest electric train set any boy ever had." Actor/director/raconteur/auteur Orson Welles continues, over 30 years after his death, to occupy a large place (also, he was fat) in film culture. His first and most famous film, "Citizen Kane," continues to hold the top spot in most best films ever polls, even if it's not even his best film (I'm partial to "Touch of Evil" and "Chimes at Midnight"). As much as I admire Welles, I find him a problematic figure and something of a fascinating wreck. I think there were a couple things that went wrong for Welles after Kane, aside from his almost self-destructive inability to finish projects. 1. He was told he was a genius way too man times. 2. He believed it.
This 2014 documentary is a good overview of his life and work, even if it's somewhat too adulatory. There's lots of great footage and somewhat less great commentary from the always insufferable Peter Bogdanovich. Welles biographer Simon Callow also shows up. Will be satisfying for the Welles aficionado, but a little shallow for those wanting more about his failures. You might also like the recent book about his unfinished film "The Other Side of the Wind" and his self-reflexive documentary-ish film "F is for Fake."

Apr 26, 2016

This documentary on the life of Orson Welles is an excellent film for beginners. Many consider Welles to be the greatest film director of all time. His first two films “Citizen Kane” and “The Magnificent Ambersons” are often listed in the top five films of all time. Starting his career during the Great Depression, he got a major break when he was financed in an FDR program that believed that artistic talent should produce artistic works rather than starve. He was basically blacklisted by Hollywood financiers because he favored the creation of art over making money.

xaipe Jul 24, 2015

An interesting overview of Welles' works spanning the years from his youth to his death. For those who appreciate his films and those unfamiliar with them, this short (94 minutes) documentary will be of interest. I only wish it were longer.


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