A Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali, Narrated by the Great Orson Welles

The surrealism of Salvador Dali knew no boundaries. It went straight from his paintings and into his personal life. Everything was a spectacle. The public loved Dali for it, but journalists always wrestled with his showmanship, wondering how to extract serious answers from the man. (Watch Dali toy with Mike Wallace here.) And, of course, someone like Dali posed challenges for biographers. Could you make Dali conform to the conventional biographical form? In 1970, the French director Jean-Christophe Averty traveled to Spain, to the little seaside village of Portlligat, where he shot a 52 minute documentary called A Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali. Orson Welles narrates the film and layers in some traditional biographical elements. But, otherwise, the film doesn’t bother trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. It embraces Dali’s schtick and goes along for the surrealist ride. In this separate video you can take a tour of Salvador Dali’s seaside home.

You can find A Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali permanently housed in our collection of 500 Free Movies Online.



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  1. Shelley says . . . | June 4, 2012 / 9:50 am

    Just wanted to mention that The Paris Review is commending Open Culture today….

  2. Bieeanda says . . . | June 4, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    There’s a reason why Salvador Dali is my favourite cartoon character.

  3. Dan Colman says . . . | June 4, 2012 / 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Shelley. That’s always an honor.
    Cheers,
    Dan

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