A moviemaker who blazed many trails, some of which that led to false paths and others that seemed to meander through Indiana Jones-styled jungle thickets or lost treasure labyrinths, Orson Welles continues to provide many lessons to directors, editors, sound designers, and everyone else involved in moving image creation. Here is a highly recommended article on a lesser-known ahead-of-its-time innovation in his work: the video essay, as seen in F for Fake. And the tale of rediscovering and rebuilding one of his “lost temples” of filmmaking (which was reported on in this blog a couple of years ago)— The Other Side of the Wind — goes on. In a perfect 21st century twist worthy of the director of Citizen Kane, Netflix is the studio that has stepped in to finance this elusive, decades-old project through to fruition.
Posts Tagged ‘Orson Welles’
An important theme in the study of motion pictures, from the long gestation that led to the first projected movies to today’s dazzling array of effects and sensory enveloping platforms, is the preservation and restoration of lost classics of the cinema. In earlier posts, such as Treasure Troves from a few months ago, new discoveries by film preservationists and scholars were highlighted in these pages. Now it appears that, in addition to Too Much Johnson, another of Orson Welles’s lost or unreleased works may see the light of day: The Other Side of the Wind. The complex tale of its fate is discussed in a new article in the New York Times, involving family members of the shah of Iran, 1083 hidden reels of film in storage, an artist drawing on decades of life for inspiration, a director stealing movie prints and escaping in an unmarked van, and much more. Producer Frank Marshall (a cofounder of Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg) and director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc and a great supporting role on The Sopranos) are working on completing the unfinished edit of the movie. Among the movies highlighted for study with Moving Images are Touch of Evil and Citizen Kane; whether The Other Side of the Wind will be or not, in whole or part, remains to be seen, while the full cut of The Magnificent Ambersons can remain the lost treasure that will always be lost…
Posted in Media Literacy, tagged Alessandra Stanley, David Riker, Doug Liman, Evan Handler, First Crush, Greg Butler, Hiro Narita, Josh Horowitz, Katie Chironis, Laurent Tirard, Michel Gondry, New York Times, Nicholas Jarecki, Orson Welles, Stephen Lowenstein, Too Much Johnson on September 2, 2013| 1 Comment »
One of the most motivating and fruitful areas of inquiry for learners can be to investigate the early paths of diverse individuals as they navigate their ways into professional, creative, and adult lives. I was very satisfied to have been able to document some compelling stories in the interviews done for Moving Images, such as those with Greg Butler, David Riker, and Hiro Narita. In relation to filmmaking professionals, particularly directors, there are many books published in recent years that document perspectives about how these creators started their careers, such as Breaking In by Nicholas Jarecki, The Mind of the Modern Moviemaker by Josh Horowitz, My First Movie (1 and 2) by Stephen Lowenstein, and Moviemakers’ Master Class by Laurent Tirard. For me, good places to start are with Doug Liman or Michel Gondry in Horowitz’s book. And from this summer, a great early-in-the-directing-career story emerged with the discovery and restoration of Orson Welles’s film Too Much Johnson.
The New York Times just wrapped up an excellent series in this vein: They asked a variety of creative and critical professionals about first inspirations that may have begun them on their journey to a professional life in their artistically-oriented field of endeavor. The series, titled First Crush, features many great short pieces, including TV critic Alessandra Stanley’s essay on the perils of keeping your children from watching television. There is a nicely diverse selection of narratives here, and featured articles are available about television, theater, video games, dance, and more. One of the most refreshing aspects of the article “Remembering the Spark that Ignited a Creative Fire” is that the people interviewed here are not famous celebrities (at least to our students); they are professionals who have found fulfillment and success in a career of their choice. Of particular note for media literacy are the pieces by Katie Chironis (a game designer for Microsoft Studios) and actor Evan Handler.