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35 posts tagged with orsonwelles.
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Orson Welles’ little-known TV pilot

Imagine a Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but with Orson Welles in the auteur/narrator’s role.

Orson Welles wrote, starred in, directed, art directed and even produced the music for “The Fountain of Youth,” an ingeniously devised and wryly funny half-hour that was made as a television pilot for The Orson Welles Show, an ill-fated anthology show that Welles developed for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s Desilu production company in 1956.

From the first minutes of “The Fountain of Youth” it’s very obviously different from any and every television show of that era, with a clever use of rear projection, consecutive photo stills, illustration, on-camera set changes, innovative sound editing, experimental narrative techniques and multilayered storytelling.

(Direct link to "Fountain of Youth" on YouTube)
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 9, 2014 - 12 comments

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending Near for Orson Welles's Last Film. The Other Side of the Wind due in theaters next year.
posted by goatdog on Oct 29, 2014 - 26 comments

"A little child shall be born in a grocery store in Whittier..."

"And on the Seventh Day, He gave a Barbecue." - Based on the 1969 book of the same name, The Begatting of The President is a parody Biblical retelling of the fall of Johnson and the rise of Nixon as narrated by Orson Welles. [Youtube playlist]
posted by Ferreous on Oct 25, 2014 - 7 comments

Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?

Ladies and gentleman, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside or in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie. But not this time. This is a promise. For the next hour, everything you hear from us is really true and based on solid fact.
Orson Welles' cinematic confidence scam, F for Fake, gets a new two disc Blu-Ray Criterion Collection release this year. Ben Sampson offers a visual analysis in two parts, breaking down the film's layers of paradoxes. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Oct 21, 2014 - 25 comments

My face fills the screen

Buried deep among the hundreds of old scripts in RKO Pictures’ archives was a 1941 melodramatic gem about an amnesia-stricken man who wakes up in the middle of a revolution in Mexico. Never produced, the screenplay for “The Way to Santiago” is credited to Orson Welles.
posted by dobbs on Dec 11, 2013 - 6 comments

The Day the Martians Came

Seventyfive years ago today, a broadcast of light music was interrupted for a special bulletin from Intercontinental news.
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 30, 2013 - 32 comments

Where is Parsifal? Misplaced film from BFI's 75 Most Wanted

In 1983, the film Where is Parsifal? was screened at Cannes and then it disappeared, more or less. BFI included it on their list of 75 most wanted films. The Telegraph summarized the "lost" title as "a farce loosely based on Molière’s Tartuffe, whose turbocharged cast includes Tony Curtis, Orson Welles and Donald Pleasence," but BFI noted that "the reviews were generally dreadful." In reality, the film wasn't so much lost as it was misplaced and/or over-looked. It has been available in Australia on VHS, and director Henri Helman kindly donated his personal 35mm print, with French subtitles, to be preserved in the BFI archive. But perhaps more interesting than the "lost" status of the movie is the people involved in its creation. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 2, 2013 - 3 comments

"I wish you could have seen TOO MUCH JOHNSON..."

A lost film by Orson Welles, originally produced to accompany a 1938 stage production of the 1894 William Gillette play "Too Much Johnson" (text) has been rediscovered in Italy, and is set for premiere at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival on October 9th. The American premiere will be at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, on October 16th. [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo on Aug 7, 2013 - 21 comments

Orson, you're behaving like an asshole.

In the early eighties, Orson Welles was a fixture at L.A.’s Ma Maison, where Wolfgang Puck was the chef before he moved on to Spago. Nearing 70, and 40-plus years removed from Citizen Kane, which he made when he was just 25, Welles was fat and famously difficult, no longer a viable star but still a sort of Hollywood royalty—a very certain sort. The younger director Henry Jaglom was one of many aspiring auteurs who admired him but possibly the only one who taped their conversations. These took place in 1983 over lunch at the restaurant.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 25, 2013 - 67 comments

For early Man, life itself was a gamble

Caesar's Guide To Gaming with Orson Welles
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Mar 29, 2013 - 13 comments

The line between science fiction and true science is often thin

In 1990, Isaac Asimov was working on a TV series to bridge science fiction and science fact, "synthesizing his visionary ideas about where humanity is going." He passed away in 1992, and the series never progressed beyond the pilot, which was re-worked and released as the documentary Visions of the Future (YouTube playlist, via Brainpickings, which calls the video "essentially, the antithesis to the Future Shock [documentary] narrated by Orson Welles"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 18, 2013 - 12 comments

The Greatest Films of All Time, 2012

Sight & Sound's prestigious Greatest Films of All Time poll is conducted only once per decade. The latest edition polled 846 film critics (up from 144 in the 2002 edition) and 358 directors. The results were revealed earlier today and, for the first time since 1962, Citizen Kane has not topped either the critics' or the directors' poll. It has been unseated as the Greatest Film of All Time by Vertigo and Tokyo Story. The magazine has also revealed the Critics' Top 50. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 1, 2012 - 109 comments

A warthog can be happy.

Orson Welles' final interview, conducted October 10, 1985. He died two hours later, at age 70. via
posted by timshel on Mar 30, 2012 - 42 comments

The palpable fear of what we experience daily without a second thought

Future Shock (2, 3, 4, 5) is a glimpse at society on the precipice of the information age, in this 1972 documentary based on the Alvin Toffler classic about the world gone mad, due to technology and computers. Narrated by Orson Welles. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Jan 30, 2012 - 22 comments

The Legend of Doom House

Malpertuis (Belgium, 1971, aka ‘The Legend of Doom House’) is a movie that has been described as ‘bizarre, lurid and baffling;’ ‘a mysterious curiosity;’ and ‘exquisitely bonkers.’ An international cast led by Mathieu Carrière and Susan Hampshire (playing five rôles) also included Orson Welles. Its director, Harry Kümel, is otherwise best known for his stylish lesbian vampire flick Les Lèvres Rouges (aka ‘Daughters of Darkness’). The movie was adapted from an unusual gothic novel, first published in wartime Brussels—the work of Jean Ray (aka Raymond Jean-Marie de Kremer): a convicted embezzler & prolific hack, who was, nevertheless, one of the foremost exponents of the fantastique in French-language fiction. Please note that some of the links above are NSFW (some nudity) & several contain SPOILERS. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Nov 14, 2011 - 7 comments

In this white darkness, we will take the place of everything

Just wait till we're alone together. Then I will tell you something new, something cold, something sleepy, something of cease and peace and the long bright curve of space. Go upstairs to your room. I will be waiting for you... As a rare October blizzard drifts a blanket of white across the Northeast just before Halloween, what better time to settle in and read (or watch) Conrad Aiken's most famous short story, "Silent Snow, Secret Snow." About a small boy who increasingly slips into an ominous fantasy of isolation and endless snow, it could be viewed as a metaphor about autism, Asperger's syndrome, and even schizophrenia before such conditions even had names. In addition to the 1934 short story, the tale has also been adapted as a creepy 1966 black-and-white short film (also at the Internet Archive) and as a Night Gallery episode (1, 2) narrated by Orson Welles. Or for a more academic take, see the essay "The Delicious Progress" examining Aiken's use of white as a symbol of psychological regression.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 29, 2011 - 9 comments

A pray 6'03'' long that would make Orson Welles jealous

The City's Most Beautiful Band is a brazilian music band which popularity is growing over Internet. Why? Because of its music videoclip, recently uploaded to Youtube and seen over 4.4 million times in just 17 days. The music's called "Oração" (Pray, in portuguese), the clip is 6'03'' long, shot in one take. It would make Orson Welles get jealous with such a good travelling shot. Wonder why? Compare the clip with the opening scene of Touch of Evil.
posted by voferreira on Jun 2, 2011 - 41 comments

"If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening." -Roger Ebert

The long take, an uncut, uninterrupted shot in film, is seen by some as the counter to CGI, the last great field for cinematic art. The linked page features six clips from 1990 on, plus the opening shot from Orson Welles' 1958 film, Touch of Evil. Alfred Hitchcock's film from a decade earlier, Rope, took the long cut further, with the whole film shot in eight takes of up to 10 minutes each, a decision shaped by the limit of the physical recording media. With digital media, the long take could be pushed further, as with Russian Ark, from 2002. The movie was shot in one long take, with the narrative working through the history of Russia, set within The State Hermitage Museum, and captured in one day on the 4th take. If the long takes are a tad long for you, try the "short" long takes that are one-shot music videos [videos inside] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 28, 2010 - 74 comments

Magnificent Obsession

The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles' second film, has inspired a legend around the lost footage excised by the studio to make it more appealing to audiences. The film's making is a cautionary tale in letting the studio have creative control, and the finished product pained Welles to his dying day. The mythical status of the lost footage has inspired a few to try and track it down. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 13, 2010 - 25 comments

Vérités et mensonges

F for Fake (French: Vérités et mensonges) is the last major film completed by Orson Welles, who directed, co-wrote, and starred in the film. Initially released in 1974, it focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger; de Hory's story serves as the backdrop for a fast-paced, meandering investigation of the natures of authorship and authenticity, as well as the basis of the value of art. Loosely a documentary, the film operates in several different genres and has been described as a kind of film essay. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Sep 5, 2010 - 26 comments

Privacy! You cannot... destroy... my PRIVACYYYY!!

"Now, I'm willing to admit the policeman has a difficult job, a very hard job. But it's the essence of our society that the policeman's job should be hard. He's there to protect the free citizen, not to chase criminals—that's an incidental part of his job. The free citizen is always more of a nuisance to the policeman than the criminal. He knows what to do about the criminal." Orson Welles' musings on privacy and its erosion, police harassment, and the need for an International Association for the Protection of the Individual Against Officialdom. (part 2) [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Jun 11, 2010 - 14 comments

War of the Worlds and the Power of Mass Media

WNYC's Radiolab took a look into Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of H.G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused mass panic in the United States when listeners mistook a radio drama for actual reporting. They then explored the question of whether such hysteria could be recreated in a similar way, recounting stories from Quito, Ecuador in 1949 and Buffalo, New York in 1968. (There was one other attempt in Santiago, Chile in 1944 which is not mentioned in the Radiolab synopsis.)
posted by ichthuz on Nov 30, 2009 - 22 comments

Orson Welles's radio War of the Worlds recreated by the cast of Star Trek.

Orson Welles's radio War of the Worlds recreated by the casts of Star Trek.
posted by feelinglistless on Oct 30, 2009 - 23 comments

That's no meteorite!

Seventy years ago today was the original broadcast of "The War of the Worlds". Listen to it, uninterrupted, here. The program reportedly caused a mass panic across much of the Northeast. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Oct 30, 2008 - 13 comments

Arena

Orson Welles in the Arena, BBC; 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: with Jeanne Moreau, Peter Bogdanovich, John Huston, Charlton Heston. More Arena documentaries: Buddy Holly: Joe Orton: Elvis: Peter Sellers: Superman: David Lynch on surrealism: Philip K. Dick.
posted by vronsky on Oct 25, 2008 - 18 comments

Orson Welles - full of country goodness and green pea-ness

Get me a jury and show me how you can say "in July" and I'll… go down on you. Orson Welles, famed for his acting and directing in such classics as Citizen Kane, also spent his later years doing occasional voiceover work for commercials -- most famously, this spot for Findus Frozen Peas. [more inside]
posted by MsMolly on Feb 18, 2008 - 65 comments

Your random audio links of the day.

Today's post of tenuously related audio brings you ten historic radio broadcasts, 529 eternal questions in popular music, and one mildly amusing black metal band prank call.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2007 - 11 comments

fake me

What is the connection between cute semi-naked japanese girls, and Orson Welles' F is for Fake? Momus explains.
posted by vronsky on May 8, 2007 - 79 comments

War of the Welles: The Torturous Journey of The Other Side of the Wind to the Big Screen

The Other Side of the Wind is the lost last film of Orson Welles, a reputed unseen masterpiece, that may finally see the light of day in late 2008. The film tells the story of Jake Hannaford (played by John Huston), an aging movie director who has to film a low budget sex-and-symbolism flick to avoid getting overtaken by the Movie Brats of the Spielberg/Coppola generation. After providing voiceovers to two documentaries on the Persepolis ceremonies of 1971 and an intimate portrait of the Shah of Iran, Welles obtained Iranian financing to finish The Other Side of the Wind. Unfortunately, after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the bank accounts of his Iranian financier were seized, which led to the negatives for the film getting locked in a French vault. After Orson Welles died in 1985, his lover/collaborator Oja Kodar had to settle his estate with Orson's estranged (but never divorced) wife Paola Mori. There the matter might have rested, if not for an unfortunate coincidence. (More inside.)
posted by jonp72 on Apr 15, 2007 - 50 comments

What evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Orson Welles may be best known as the director and star of Citizen Kane, but before he made movies he was a star of the radio. Although he gained notoriety by narrating War of the Worlds in 1938, he was also the voice of Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, and had a successful run as the creator and star of the Mercury Theater On The Air, which, after gaining sponsorship, became known as the Campbell Playhouse. Even after the heyday of radio, Welles provided his voice for The Black Museum series (based on real-life cases from the files of Scotland Yard), and The Lives of Harry Lime, a prequel to his role in the film The Third Man.
posted by supercrayon on Jan 10, 2007 - 38 comments

A great rise... a modest fall.

Donald Trump discusses the major thematic elements of Citizen Kane. Featured in the awesome new... err... issue?... of Wholphin.
posted by hypocritical ross on Jul 21, 2006 - 21 comments

the universe is bananas.

Life Beyond Earth and the Mind of Man. Direct Google Video link to a fruitcake-tastic half-hour film of "a symposium held at Boston University on November 20, 1972 that explores the implications of the possible existence of extraterrestrial life within the galaxy and the universe. " Well worth scrubbing through for some good moments if you don't have time to watch the whole thing. Other cool old NASA videos on google video include Who's Out There?, starring a cigar smoking Orson Welles squinting a lot and reading off the cue cards, and Debrief: Apollo 8: "Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast".
posted by 6am on May 11, 2006 - 7 comments

War of the Worlds!

The new War of the Worlds movie will premiere in June '05. Based on H.G. Wells book, (e-text), the story terrified thousands of American radio listeners and caused a panic on October 30, 1938. That night, a series of increasingly alarming breaking news reports (narrated by a young Orson Welles) about an invading force of Martians interrupted the Mercury Theater show on WABC radio in NYC. Welles had announced at the start of the hour that he was reading a story, but most of the audience tuned in late and thought it was all real. More information can be found here and here. Wav files of the original broadcast can be downloaded (or purchased) from here. "They're bombing New Jersey!": Check out a picture of the NYTimes front page and full text of the article they ran the next day. War of the Worlds has been made into several films, including this one from 1953.
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2004 - 69 comments

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds (this is not about Bush) Don't own a television? Want an alternative? Live performance, live orchestra, no net. October 30, 2002 8-9 PM Eastern. Glenn Beck recreates Orson Welles chilling performance that captivated a nation along with full orchestrations and foley effects. this is a radio broadcast
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors on Oct 29, 2002 - 6 comments

Magnificent Wellesian Flop to Be Remade as Mini-Series

Magnificent Wellesian Flop to Be Remade as Mini-Series Ok, have I got something for you. Well, I think so. Actually, the title could have read : "Teenagers ruin Orson Welles' carrier", or there are a couple of other ideas, not going to bore you with them.

A&E to remake The Magnificent Ambersons at $14 mil, it will star Madeleine Stowe, Jennifer Tilly, James Cromwell, Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Thora Birch (Talk about a bad cast. Tilly? Each!)
"For those who don't know, Welles' second film was cut by over 40 minutes (mostly at the end) by order of his studio while he was away making (or trying to make) "It's All True" in Brazil. The loss of these 40 minutes is generally considered one of the great tragedies in film history, as much for the effect on Welles' subsequent career as for the masterpiece that might have been. (Not that it isn't a masterpiece of sorts, as it is.)"
Problems with this? Chances are that the original Welles script will be buried under too much new content. Then again, We could see the 40 minutes worth of cut content (Damn Teenagers). A&E claims that they have the technology and the resources to make the script better, stronger, and more agile with better reflexes than befoure. Heh. I'm goofy that way.
posted by tiaka on Jul 31, 2000 - 3 comments

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