Sunday, May 6, 2012

Orson Welles

Welles with then wife Rita Hayworth
Today is the birthday of actor and director Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985).  Ask me who the greatest director is and I'll invariably say Welles, Hitchcock, and Kubrick, with Welles in the lead.  Welles changed the vocabulary of film more than anyone I can think of.  His innovative use of camera angles, deep focus photography, long takes, and overlapping dialogue were so ahead of his time that his movies, some shot 60 years ago, still seem fresh and modern.  I'm thinking particularly of his version of Othello.

Recently, I discovered someone was nice enough to post five of the six episodes of Orson Welles's Sketchbook on YouTube.  It was a series of 15-minute shorts with Welles just talking to the camera, relating stories he found interesting and talking about his past in the theater.  I've embedded the two parts of episode 1 below, and I hope you'll check them out.  They're well worth the time.



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