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 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.