Film tribute to Citizen Kane director, Orson Welles





It is almost a quarter of a century since Orson Welles died in late 1985, but the small matter of dying hasn't really curbed his career. Since then, Welles manifestations have been as plentiful as ever. Fresh controversies emerged about his work; new versions of some of his movies have been released; he has been the subject of several biographies; and the quest to complete his film The Other Side Of The Wind has continued.

The fascination with Welles as magician, raconteur, outrageous ham and mountebank remains undiminished. Some formidable actors have played the great man on screen in recent years. In 2006, Danny Huston – son of Welles' friend John Huston – took on the role in Oliver Parker's Fade To Black (2006). Scottish actor Angus Macfadyen was recruited by Tim Robbins to play Welles in Cradle Will Rock (1999). Liev Schreiber portrayed him in Benjamin Ross's television movie RKO 281 (1999) about Welles' battles with the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst (James Cromwell) in the wake of Citizen Kane (1941).

Now Welles is on screen again. In Richard Linklater's new film he is played brilliantly by the young British actor, Christian McKay. Me and Orson Welles is about a teenage theatre enthusiast Richard Samuels (Zac Effron) who blags his way into a small role in Welles' celebrated production of Julius Caesar at the Mercury Theatre in 1937. Although Welles is only a few years older than his young admirer, he already seems a wildly exotic and outlandish personality. McKay's performance captures Welles' pomposity, his absurd vanity, his ruthlessness, his mercurial quality and his brilliance...


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