"Orson Welles: A One-Person Play in Two Acts" by Michael B. Druxman is now available as an audiobook.
According to the publisher, "The play finds Welles trying to find the financing for one (more...)
According to the publisher, "The play finds Welles trying to find the financing for one (more...)
Orson Welles' candid lunchtime conversations with director Henry Jaglom will be the basis of the upcoming book "My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles."
Peter Biskind ("Easy Riders, Raging Bulls") is editing the book using transcripts of conversations taped by Jaglom. "I'm excited about it. I'm reliving these wonderful, amazing lunches," Jaglom recently told Slant.
It was one year ago today we lost Norman Corwin, the poet laureate of radio, at the age of 101.
During a career that spanned more than 80 years, Corwin wrote, produced and directed for radio, television, film and the stage. He won two Peabody Medals, an Emmy, and was nominated for an Academy Award for writing.
I was very fortunate to interview Corwin in 2008 for a piece on the legacy of Orson Welles' famed "The War of the Worlds" broadcast. He spoke with great affection about Welles and recalled his performance in (more...)
From PR NEWSWIRE
"War of the Worlds:The True Story," a new movie, will play one night only in select theaters across America this October 30th, Tuesday, the night before Halloween, on the 74th anniversary of the famed Orson Welles 1938 radio broadcast.
"War of the Worlds:The True Story," based on the most beloved alien invasion story of all time by Father of Science Fiction, H.G. Wells, assumes the world knows there was a war between Earth and Mars in the year 1900 and is presented as the eyewitness account of Bertie Wells, the last living survivor of the Earth/Mars War (more...)
Julien's Auctions has a Wellesian treasure trove of materials related to Orson Welles' unfinished thriller "The Deep" on the block on Nov. 9-10. The items are part of its "Icons & Idols" auction.
According the Beverly Hills auction house, production notes, correspondence, film rolls, contracts, scripts, and other materials were left by Welles to Bill Cronshaw, described as a longtime friend and London manager.
The lot description states: "Included in this archive are color film clippings and black and white film rolls, with various clips (more...)
From Down Under, a theatrical look at Orson Welles' career is continuing to gain attention.
"Pearls Before Swine: An Evening With Orson Welles" - an Australian one-man play written and performed by Blake Erickson - made its debut in September 2010 at the Sydney Fringe Festival, where it won top acting honors for Erickson.
Since its debut, the production has enjoyed two successful seasons in Sydney. It will soon be seen at Chapel Off Chapel in (more...)
By RAY KELLY
"Sleeping With the Enemy" director Joseph Ruben will direct a remake of Orson Welles' most commercially successful film, "The Stranger."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jack and Joseph Nasser of NGN Releasing ("For a Good Time, Call …") will produce the film with the script penned by newcomer Alanna Belak.
The storyline has been altered for 21st century filmgoers. (more...)
By RAY KELLY
Welles scholars now have access to the exciting additions to the Special Collections Library at the University of Michigan.
The first collection, “The Orson Welles – Chris Welles Feder Collection,” is a gift from Welles’ eldest daughter, Chris Welles Feder. It includes photographs of the family and letters from Welles to his first wife, Virginia Nicolson Welles. Among the letters is a series written by Welles when he made the transition from New York to Hollywood in the summer of 1939, which documents his activities and thoughts during his introduction to movie making.
The second collection, “The Alessandro Tasca di Cutò – Orson Welles Collection,” is from the personal papers of Alessandro Tasca and was purchased at auction in London. (more...)
With the approach of the Orson Welles Centenary in 2015, nowhere does the anniversary of his birth seem as special as Woodstock, Illinois, where the young Welles spent his formative years at the Todd School for Boys.
A citizens’ group, Woodstock Celebrates, is planning events in May 2014, marking the 80th anniversary of the Todd Theatre Festival during which Welles made his directorial debut, and on May 6, 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.
To draw further attention to this milestone, Woodstock Celebrates and Wellesnet are petitioning the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp in 2015 honoring the Orson Welles Centenary. (more...)
Chimes at Midnight is Welles's masterpiece, the fullest, most completely realized expression of everything he had been working toward since Citizen Kane, which itself was more an end than a beginning.
--Joseph McBride, ORSON WELLES.
Bonham's Auction house will be selling an archive of rare production material on November 22 in London that belonged to the executive producer of Chimes at Midnight, Alessandro Tasca, who was a cousin of Guiseppe Lampedusa, the author of the classic Sicilian novel The Leopard.
The presale estimate for the collection is between £40,000 and 60,000 (British pounds). Ideally, it would be wonderful if an archive could obtain the material, such as The University of Michigan or the Lilly Library, where it could be available for Welles scholars, but (more...)
By RAY KELLY
While the future of The Other Side of the Wind is always cloudy, one thing appears clear: A book chronicling the making of this unfinished Orson Welles film is in the works.
Josh Karp, who teaches journalism at Northwestern, is writing about The Other Side of the Wind for St. Martin's Press. Due in 2013, An Adventure Shared By Desperate Men (That Finally Came to Nothing) looks at the filming of the 1970's Welles movie starring John Huston as an aging director attempting to revive his career with a hip, artsy film.
Karp has written for Salon, TV Guide, Premiere, The Atlantic Monthly Online, The LA Times Sunday Magazine and other publications. He is the author of A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever and Straight Down the Middle: Shivas Irons, Bagger Vance and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Golf Swing.
Karp, who is conducting some of his final interviews for the book, agreed to field a few questions from Wellesnet.
RAY KELLY: Your previous two books have dealt with golf and National Lampoon. What attracted you to an unfinished Orson Welles film?
JOSH KARP: The simple answer is that it’s a great story and something I could gladly work on for a year or two.
What first got me interested were the stories from the set. I’d read about Rich Little and the midgets; John Huston driving the wrong way on the highway; a movie funded by the Shah’s brother-in-law; Welles seeing the amazing sunset outside the open studio door and saying, “It looks fake.” I just loved all of that.
Then you had Welles and Huston who are almost literally characters out of novels (Huston was once described as “A Hemingway character lost in a Dostoevsky novel”). Complicated, charismatic, larger than life men and remarkable artists.
Richard Frances's play Obediently Yours, Orson Welles was published by Oberon Books earlier this year in a volume entitled Hollywood Legends: 'Live' on stage.
Besides the Welles show, it features two additional plays, one on Marlene Dietrich, the other about James Dean, along with an introduction by Simon Callow. Dr. France has graciously given his permission for Wellesnet to post his preface to the play here. In addition, Glenn Anders has alerted us to an audio interview with Richard France you can listen to Here. It includes comments about Richard France's two books on Welles, The Theatre of Orson Welles (sadly, still out of print) and Orson Welles on Shakespeare.
INTRODUCTION TO OBEDIENTLY YOURS, ORSON WELLES
By Richard France
Orson Welles was rightfully contemptuous of academics, refusing all the honorary degrees that he was offered and heaping scorn on those of his “learned “bee-ographers” who dared to base our writings about his life and accomplishments on anything other than the charming fairy-tales that he had so skillfully crafted over the years.
Frankly, it’s hard to fault him on either count. These, after all, were the same fairy-tales that sustained him long after the “pigeons” (as he called potential investors) stopped returning his phone calls. And had he lived long enough to witness the birth of nano-technology, there can be no doubt that he, too, would have recognized it as the only known substance on the face of this earth smaller than the mind of an academic.
I was living on a small farm in southern Maine at the time, annotating the third and final play-script – the enormous crazy-quilt known as “Five Kings” -- for “Orson Welles on Shakespeare,” when I received an offer from the University of Southern California to spend a year as visiting associate professor with their (so-called) Theatre Division, now even more pretentiously known as its School of Theatre. “Stay put,” I was told, especially by the very few academics whom I respected. “That place is known on campus as USC’s own little gulag..”
I’d been eking out a living by doing voice-overs in Boston, a two-hour drive from my home. And while debt-free, there were no wind-falls awaiting me in Maine. So, the opportunity to triple my average income for a year, plus a $2500 stipend to pay for the visuals and to index the “Welles on Shakespeare” book, plus a subsidized apartment above the smog line in Laurel Canyon proved irresistible. I was also able to convince myself that since we’d be parting company in such short order, even the vilest and most insecure of my colleagues would realize that I was no threat to them. Silly me !
Some years earlier, the Asian-American company, East West Players, had produced “Station J,” my epic about the evacuation and internment of our Japanese population during World War Two. So, when I alerted my good friend, Mako that I’d be in Los Angeles, he invited me to return to East West as his dramaturg. In addition, a number of my voice-over clients in Boston apprised me of a recording studio in L.A. where, through a process known as phone-patching, we could continue working together.
Did I say triple my income? Mako introduced me to an L. A. agent, and I was soon recording promos and commercials for clients out there, as well. From the outset, it was agreed to that none of these outside activities were to interfere with my primary responsibility, which was to my students. Even so, I soon found myself in the cross-hairs of a particularly venomous assistant professor.
“I don’t see how Dr. France can continue doing everything he’s doing,” she hissed at one of our faculty meetings, prompting two of the deadest of the department’s dead-wood to bob their hollowed-out heads in agreement.
“Eventually, something has to suffer.”
“Such as?” I asked.
“We hope it won’t be your classes, Richard,” the older, and even dumber, of the two dead-woods chimed in.
My assurances that I would never allow that to happen, and it never did, seemed to put the matter at rest. Or so I imagined. In fact, the poison has only just begun to spread. When the time came, and my student evaluations far surpassed my “bitch noir,” she merely dismissed these results as “gender distinction,” and intensified her campaign to discredit me.
Early in the second semester, I was in my office, with the door open, when one of my graduate students, an acting major from South Africa, appeared, crying hysterically. “My mother!” she blurted out. “She’s dead!” All I could think of was trying to comfort her as I guided her to a chair. We sat across from each other, holding hands, as she revealed what happened. Not only was her mother’s death completely unexpected, by the time word of it reached my student it was too late for her to return to South Africa for the funeral.
The following week, I found myself in the provost’s office, charged with sexually harassing the student whom I had simply tried to comfort. Also present was my dean, the very person who had persuaded me to spend that year at USC, looking even more sanctimonious than usual. “What would you have done” I asked him, making no attempt to disguise my anger, “let her fall on the floor?” (He didn’t know it at the time but his days at USC were also numbered.)
Confronting one’s accuser is (supposedly) a corner-stone of American justice. It wasn’t my student, that I was sure of. But when I asked who then (as if I couldn’t guess), I was denied that information on the grounds that I might also get it into my head to harass my accuser. And given my angry reaction to the disgusting charges I was facing, both my dean and the provost considered this a real possibility.