By Michael Roberts
"Everything about me is a contradiction, and so is everything about everybody else. We are made out of oppositions; we live between two poles. There's a philistine and an aesthete in all of us, and a murderer and a saint. You don't reconcile the poles. You just recognize them." ~ Orson Welles
The 'boy wonder' of cinema who started at the top and worked his way down. Or so the story goes, but Welles has been the victim of as much myth, gossip and lies as adulation so the truth remains somewhere in the middle as usual. Welles had made a splash as a radio star and as a stage director in New York in the late '30s and Hollywood enticed this force of nature west to take his pick of projects. Welles' debut film Citizen Kane is the most astounding, self assured and remarkable first feature in cinema history, responsible for as much controversy as innovation, and forever cementing Welles reputation as a genius of the medium.
Too much an independent spirit to easily fit into the strict Hollywood studio system Welles fell foul of the money men, who unfairly labeled him as profligate and he struggled thereafter to get financial support in America. Europe was always his 'spiritual' home and he decamped in the late '40s and attempted to film his dream projects there to mostly uneven but often superb results. A true genius and maverick, and a literate and cultured giant who's contribution to the language of modern cinema is truly incalculable.
Chimes at Midnight
For fans only;
The Immortal Story
F for Fake