The 100th anniversary of Orson Welles's birth will be celebrated next month. A new documentary, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, attempts to boil down to ninety minutes the arc of a remarkable life, sifting through many of Welles's achievements and shortcomings to get at the heart of who he was. Certainly, he was the director of what most cinéphiles agree is the greatest film in history, Citizen Kane, but it is more than that. Director Chuck Workman, who demonstrated his knowledge of the history of American film by condensing it into a marvelous seven minutes in his short film Precious Images, brings together clips of Welles's greatest movies and other work (in radio and theater), many salient excerpts of Welles speaking about his work, and directors Steven Spielberg, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Julie Taymor, Costa-Gavras, Peter Brook, Sydney Pollack, among others, giving homage.
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