Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (2014)

PG-13   |    |  Documentary, Biography


Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (2014) Poster

A look at the life and work of the great theatre, radio and film artist.


6.9/10
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Director:

Chuck Workman

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19 March 2016 | blanche-2
6
| worth seeing but not spectacular
"Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles" is a documentary from 2014 about the great filmmaker, actor, magician, and personality. I must have seen and read everything there is on Welles, if that's possible, and this particular documentary borrowed heavily from the best there is -- the BBC interview with Welles, which was one of the best things I've ever seen.

Of interest here were the photos of him as a young boy, and interviews with Micheál MacLiammóir, Norman Lloyd, comments by Julie Taymor, his daughter Beatrice, and so many others, some of whom I had not seen interviewed before.

Welles was, to say the least, a complicated man. He couldn't deal with the studio constraints, but without them, he often floundered. Spielberg was interviewed here, and I remember very well from one of the books on Welles that he went to dinner with Spielberg with the idea that Spielberg could help him find a distributor for one of his movies.

When he came home, the interviewer called him, and he said, they only ever want to talk about Kane. Kane was a blessing and a curse. I think some of the people interviewed didn't give him credit for the fact that he was just as talented as he had always been, but the business had become so much tougher.

Documentaries about Welles are always worth seeing. He was one of the most charismatic and interesting people who ever lived, and he'd probably tell you that himself. And the people around him seemed to adore him. So really, as much as I have liked other documentaries better, this one is worth seeing too.

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Documentary | Biography

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