I have yet to watch this, but videoarcadia has a little blurb about
a meditation (in more ways than one) on the ways in Welles things dissolve together and things come apart, memory blurs and action defines (and defines memories), a man's hopes are boundless and his life's works neatly limited and demarcated by a newspaper article or "no trespassing" sign--a snowglobe in one hand and a gun in the other?--in the works of an artist whose camera and montage constantly trespasses boundaries to build up identities in broken pieces and, later on, split-second glimpses.
Orson Welles was born on this day 94 years ago.
Before there was Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, there was Theordore Roszak's 1991 novel Flicker. In both stories a secret cabal of Gnostics hide out from "orthodox" Christianity, leaving subtle clues everywhere, and the hero has to find them for "the big reveal." Only difference is, in Flicker the Gnostic Cathars are far from benign. The survivors of the Cathar persecutions are still alive and well - and making movies. Film scholar Jonathan Gates begins a decades-long affair with avant-garde critic Clare Swann, and there's more than steamy sex between them. There's also Gates's fascination with deceased German expressionist filmmaker Max Castle - and the strange subliminal messages Gates finds embedded in Castle's films, hidden in "the flicker," the 1/24th of a second frame frequency required by the human eye/nervous system to give film the illusion of smooth, continuous movement.( More on Orson Welles in FlickerCollapse )
... As we waited for the pokey elevator to make its way back to her floor, I asked, "Should I congratulate you?" She gave me a puzzled look. I nodded back to her apartment. "Something permanent?"She let a few beats go by, then answered. "Hardly. And that's for the best. It's an adventure to have him here, but otherwise ... well, you remember your little fling with Nylana the Jungle Girl. Things don't always translate off the silver screen as you might like, do they?"I agreed she was right about that. She allowed another weightier, heavier pause to set in. Then: "I don't have to tell you this, but whatever the disenchantments, he's the first man I've liked having around the house since I left LA ..."
Anyone heard anything about Fade to Black? Apparently it's a few years old, but I hadn't heard anything about it.
For those of you in/near L.A.:American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents... Rogue Genius: An Orson Welles RetrospectiveHow I wish I could attend!
Nevada Conservatory Theatre presents "The Cradle Will Rock".This was the Welles-directed musical that was closed down by the Federal Theatre Project in 1937 on opening night, leaving Welles, John Houseman and other producers mere hours to find empty space for the opening. The cast ended up performing from the audience, with composer Marc Blitzstein playing piano and performing some of the songs on stage. Welles later meant to write/direct his own film based on the events (going so far as to claim young actor Rupert Everett should play himself) but a film covering those events (and others) was eventually made by Tim Robbins.Anyway, I think it'd be really interesting to see the original show, especially as they seem to be honoring its tradition.More on the play from Wikipedia.
Along with several other articles reporting on the SXSW showing of Me and Orson Welles, this blog has some info.It’s a lovely movie, a richly appointed ’30s period piece set inside Orson Welles’ famed Mercury Theater in New York. It follows Zac Efron’s ambitious teenage actor as he finagles his way into Welles’ stellar troupe, using wiles, charm and confidence. It’s about learning the showbiz ropes the hard way by the hardest teacher, the blustery and bumptious Welles.In a searing star turn, Christian McKay plays Welles as a seductive but insufferable supernova of gaseous ego and barking entitlement. Though not the late rotund Welles, he nevertheless takes up all the space around him and steals its oxygen, leaving those nearby gasping.McKay’s lusty and rollicking Welles is the wild-eyed ringleader of a constellation of stars, from producer John Houseman (Eddie Marsan) to Joseph Cotton (James Tupper). They are mounting an ambitious, career-making production of “Julius Caesar” and we are history’s bedazzled witnesses.Elegant and smooth, “Me and Orson Welles” evinces Linklater’s knack for character-driven chamber pieces, fluttering with sharp dialogue while exploring the brambles of love and the dour realization that egos and great art are sometimes horribly, wonderfully indivisible.So. This is part of a larger topic about "portrayals of Welles in the media," I think, as there have been many. But what do you think? I confess that all the descriptions of Welles in this film leave me a bit defensive, though I would not deny the man's faults and I daresay he was difficult enough to work with, at times. Is it just that this is all I'm hearing, or will this portrayal turn out to be a one-note enfant terrible?Will you be seeing it? I will, out of curiosity if nothing else.
Variety this month reports that Peter Bogdanovich is pretty optimistic about the completion of Welles's last, unfinished film, The Other Side of the Wind, which starred John Huston as a megalomaniacal director and was produced off and on during the 70's as Welles found money (ever wonder where the proceeds from those wine commercials were going? other than cigars, of course). It's been a "lost treasure" ever since his death, and now Bogdanovich says,"It's going to happen in the next month or so," he says. "We're aiming for Cannes. Everybody wants it. It's film history. It will be something for it to finally be seen after all these years."Not everyone is so sure, but here's what I fear: as much as I want to see this film, it cannot possibly be as good as it "needs" to be. Aside from not having money at the time, Orson wasn't around to finish it, and while I trust him to deliver something interesting I'm not so sure the conditions were sufficient. Even so, I hope we'll get a chance to see and judge for ourselves, though we never will be able to judge what he might have done with the material.(In other news, I completely scored at Powell's books in Portland, OR and came home with the Leaming bio (I still didn't own it), Naremore's The Magic World of Orson Welles, The Big Brass Ring screenplay, and two books about Citizen Kane.)
Orson saves the world with Superman. It needs to be seen to be believed. http://www.thefifthbranch.com/gorilladaze/?p=60It also reminded me of how badly I want to see "Black Magic."
I was skimming though a friend's book of WPA posters today and came across posters for the black Macbeth and Faustus, which I scanned at absurdly high resolution, and a picture of Orson writing, which I did not scan, because I'm dumb. :/ Anyway. The idea was to print them out in tabloid size, which is why they are so huge, but here they are small: Gigantihuge versions! .Tif, around 19 mb each. Macbeth: http://www.sendspace.com/file/wowmpiFaustus: http://www.sendspace.com/file/2lvwfb