Anybody who thinks he or she knows about cinema thinks he or she knows about Orson Welles. At the time of his death in 1985 it was fashionable to argue that Welles had lived his life backwards. If the poles had been correctly aligned, Orson would have begun by selling port in cheesy commercials, gone on to low-budget independent films and finally – offered full creative support by the studio – delivered a masterpiece in the form of Citizen Kane. (The very early years spent bluffing his way around the Gate Theatre in Dublin don’t fit comfortably into either timeline.)
Over the intervening decades, that convenient conceit has frayed a little. The reputation of later films such as Touch of Evil and Chimes of Midnight has soared. The final struggles have taken on an increasingly heroic quality. Next year we hope to see a delayed reconstruction of his final film The Other Side of the Wind. But we do still know one thing. After two pictures for RKO, Welles was shunned by Hollywood because he was difficult, profligate and unconventional. Isn’t that right?
Read the rest of this article from Irish Times.
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