Orson Welles Documentary Magician

Maybe I’m guessing wrong, but it feels like Orson Welles has fallen away from his perch at the top of the list of the most fascinating American filmmakers. We’re a couple decades removed from the prominence of the people who kept him in the conversation; other filmmakers have dominated the conversation as dialogue about film has changed. We’ve seen Citizen Kane fall from first to second on Sight and Sound’s once-a-decade list of the 50 Greatest Films of All Time. (Kane held the #1 spot for fifty years.)

No matter how many other filmmakers do things that Welles did, however, none will ever do everything Welles did, and very few will do it in the way he managed. He wasn’t just there for many of Hollywood’s formative moments, he provided several of them. If you don’t know the history and films of Welles, there’s never a bad time to dive in.

Here’s the trailer for the Orson Welles documentary Magician, which recounts Welles’ life and achievements, featuring interviews with with Richard Linklater, Peter Bogdanovich, Frank Marshall, Anthony Perkins, Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, Steven Spielberg. Read More »

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Any fan of cinema must be, I think, necessarily interested in Orson Welles. And for anyone interested in Welles, there are two holy grails. One is the footage cut from his original version of The Magnificent Ambersons. That footage, sadly, simply doesn’t exist any longer. The other grail is The Other Side of the Wind, which is the long-uncompleted final film from Welles.

The movie stars John Huston as declining film director Jake Hannaford, and features a huge cast including Peter Bogdanovich, Bob Random, Susan Strasberg, Joseph McBride, Mercedes McCambirdge, Lilli Palmer, Oja Kodar, Dennis Hopper and a host of filmmakers appearing as (more or less) themselves, including Henry Jaglom, Paul Mazursky, and Claude Chabrol. Featuring many improvised scenes, and shot with an off-the-cuff style, it would have been a free-form experiment unlike anything else in Welles’ catalogue.

Due to a combination of factors, most notably the passing of Welles and a very complicated string of rights negotiations that followed, The Other Side of the Wind has never been finished and released, despite continued efforts to complete it. Some small portions have been shown over the years, but now twenty minutes of additional footage has been made available online. Read More »

What is the greatest film of all time? Orson Welles‘ directorial debut Citizen Kane has often been given the honor, but a new iteration of a poll considered to be one of cinema’s most significant has overturned Kane‘s rule.

When Alfred Hitchcock‘s Vertigo opened in 1958, it met with a middling reception and many negative reviews. In 1968 Robin Wood’s book Hitchcock’s Films was part of the process of critical re-evaluation of the movie, calling it his “masterpiece to date.” In 1973 Vertigo was one of five movies owned by Hitchcock that the director took out of circulation. Vertigo was away from screens for ten years, and in that time interest in the film grew exponentially. When it was finally re-released in ’83, Vertigo was hailed as a classic and an important film.

Once a decade, the British magazine Sight and Sound conducts a poll of critics and filmmakers to generate lists of the ten best films ever made. In 1982, Vertigo hit the critics’ list at #7. In 1992 it had climbed to #4, and in 2002 it was second only to Citizen Kane.

Now, with the release of the 2012 poll, Vertigo has toppled Kane to be voted by critics as the best film ever made. Read More »

Much as previous generations believe you can tell everything about a person whether or not they love The Beatles or Elvis, you can tell a lot about a film fan depending on their opinions of Citizen Kane. The film is like a lightning rod in the movie blogosphere where you’ve either seen it and love it, respect it, hate it because it’s been built up too much or don’t even care to watch it. No matter which statement best describes you, there’s no denying that Orson Welles‘ 1941 masterpiece set out what it was meant to do: spawn discussion, debate, and show film lovers everywhere just what this little medium we call movies is capable of. Now, 70 years after Kane was released in theaters, Warner Bros. is doing a frame by frame high definition restoration so they can release the film on Blu-ray September 13. Read more about the package after the jump. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 40 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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Cool Stuff: The ‘Ones That Got Away’ Posters

Most filmmakers have projects they want to make but never get around to. Maybe they can’t get the funding together, maybe they lose the rights or maybe they pass away. There are famous examples of this all the way through history from Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon and Orson Welles’s Don Quixote to newer projects like James Cameron’s Spider-Man, Tim Burton’s Superman and Peter Jackson’s Halo. The list goes on and on.

Artist Fernando Reza, who also did these cool TV Band posters, asked the question, “What If?” What if Stanley Kubrick finished Napoleon? What is Orson Welles finished Don Quixote? And he answered those questions with his new set of film posters called The Ones That Got Away; Four posters including those two aforementioned films as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s Kaleidoscope and David Lean’s Nostromo.

Read what Reza had to say about the project, see all the posters and learn how to buy them after the jump. Read More »

Kane

Why settle as being called the best film of all time when you could also be called the best remake of all time? Mark Potts (Simmons on Vinyl) and Singletree Productions have created a faux movie trailer for a proposed remake of Orson Welles‘ 1941 cinematic masterpiece Citizen Kane. The trailer is a rather obvious but entertaining commentary on the current state of the movie industry, in which a movie remake like this is completely possible (sadly). Watch the trailer right now, embedded after the jump.

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Orson Welles to Narrate 3D Holiday Film

orson-welles

How appropriate that a studio called Drac might be the latest group to suck some life out of Orson Welles. The effects company has done good work on films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but I’m not sure I can get behind this new effort. Christmas Tails will be a 3D live-action/CG hybrid film narrated by Orson Welles. Yes, he’s been dead for twenty-five years. No, this can’t be a good thing. Can it? Read More »

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