Sun

28/06

Auditorium - DAMSLab > 18:00

MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE AND WORK OF ORSON WELLES

Chuck Workman

Projection
Info

Sunday 28/06/2015
18:00

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE AND WORK OF ORSON WELLES

Film Notes

An in-depth study of Orson Welles’ singular life and career would run the length of a miniseries, but Chuck Workman engagingly hits a good many highlights in stone-skipping fashion in Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles. Additionally, by delving into the protean talent’s bag of unfinished projects, the veteran documentary and clips-reel whiz tries to counter the view that Welles had a fear of completion later in life; as the film shows, he was always working, however under-financed he may have been. […]
The Welles saga has been told innumerable times, including in a host of hefty biographies, and it can’t be said that there is much here in the way of new information or insights. One thing Workman does provide, however, is a strong visual sense of the world in which his subject lived and worked. No other Welles chronicler has gone to Woodstock, Illinois, to film the very theater in which Orson, in his early teens, put on and acted in his first Shakespeare productions, or has so vividly captured his subject’s 1950s European sojourn (we hear Welles speaking barely passable Italian), which qualified him as the pioneer post-war independent American filmmaker.
Workman’s strengths as a miner of archives really pay off here, as he offers up exceedingly rare documentary footage of his subject drawn from diverse international sources, peeks at unfinished works and camera tests Welles himself shot (Don Quixote, The Deep, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, The Other Side of the Wind, The Dreamers, et al.) and often unfamiliar excerpts from old but relevant interviews with figures no longer with us (John Houseman, William Alland, Robert Wise, Pandro S. Berman, Richard Wilson, Michael MacLiammoir, Suzanne Cloutier, Peter Viertel, Anthony Perkins). […]
Breezy rather than analytical and prone to leaving psychological evaluation of this enormously complex figure mostly to the side, Magician adopts a lively, energetic approach in the worthy service of engaging the interest of viewers perhaps unfamiliar with Welles’ life and work. Such a result would be all to the good for an artist about whom there are always more aspects to discover and perspectives to be shared.

Todd McCarthy, “The Hollywood Reporter”, September 16, 2014

Cast and Credits

F.: John Sharaf, Tom Hurwitz, Michael Lisnet. M.: Chuck Workman. Int.: Simon Callow, Christopher Welles Feder, Norman Lloyd, Julie Taymor, Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, Elvis Mitchell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Henry Jaglom, Joseph McBride, Peter Brook, Walter Murch, Eric Sherman, Costa-Gavras, Richard Linklater, Oja Kodar, Sydney Pollack, Paul Mazursky. Prod.: Charles S. Cohen per Cohen Media Group · DCP. Bn e Col.