Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles

Orson Welles delivers a radio broadcast from a New York studio in 1938. (AP Photo)

Orson Welles delivers a radio broadcast from a New York studio in 1938. (AP Photo)

A wonderfully entertaining, illuminating and finally very touching portrait of Orson Welles. A child prodigy who went on to make extraordinary, often game-changing contributions to whatever medium he chose to be involved in – radio, theatre, film and television – Welles quickly came to be regarded as a ‘genius’: a double-edged acclamation, with its hints of profligacy and arrogance. The truth was more complex, as shown by Workman’s use of clips from works both familiar and unreleased; testimonies from family, friends and fans, collaborators and critics (from Simon Callow to Steven Spielberg, Charlton Heston to Jonathan Rosenbaum); and, best of all, anecdotes, admissions and insights galore from the great man himself. As Peter Brook says, we shall never see his like again.

Documentary

Dir. Chuck Workman, US, 2014, 91 min

Cast: Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles

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