Discover the Lost Films of Orson Welles

To know an artist, you must know all the work they ever made pub­lic. But to tru­ly, thor­ough­ly know an artist, you must also know all the work they nev­er made pub­lic. This notion, in our age of DVD delet­ed scenes, ded­i­cat­ed uni­ver­si­ty cours­es, and oth­er aids to com­pletist enthu­si­asm, has gained quite a lot of trac­tion. But how many cre­ators work­ing today give you the sense of only see­ing the tip of their pro­duc­tive ice­berg than did Orson Welles, whose rumored unseen or nev­er ful­ly devel­oped works some­times seem even to out­num­ber those in his impres­sive and (in the main) high­ly acclaimed canon? Sure, the man made War of the Worldand Cit­i­zen Kane, but every­one knows those. What about The Dream­ersThe DeepThe Oth­er Side of the Wind — seen any of those? Now, thanks to Cinephil­ia and Beyond, you can see them, or at least parts of them, in 1995’s Orson Welles: The One-Man Band by Ger­man film­mak­er and seri­ous Welles fan Vas­sili Silovic.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the auteur’s long­time com­pan­ion Oda Kojar, Silovic digs into the Welles archives and bring to light evi­dence of all sorts of projects unre­al­ized, unfin­ished, or sim­ply unre­leased. The New York TimesStephen Hold­en writes that Silovic’s film “offers tan­ta­liz­ing excerpts from Welles’s lat­er works along with rem­i­nis­cences by Ms. Kodar of their nomadic life togeth­er. As Welles dashed about the globe pur­su­ing act­ing jobs and financ­ing for his projects, he tot­ed around a 16-mil­lime­ter edit­ing table and a giant suit­case of equip­ment that made him the film-mak­ing equiv­a­lent of a one-man band. Many of his small­er projects might be described as ambi­tious home movies filmed on the spot wher­ev­er he hap­pened to be.” We see bits and pieces of an incom­plete thriller, a clip from the pilot for a pro­posed tele­vi­sion talk show, some of “the sto­ry of an aging, fero­cious­ly inde­pen­dent film direc­tor (played by John Hus­ton) wrestling with the Hol­ly­wood estab­lish­ment to com­plete an icon­o­clas­tic work.” We even get a glimpse, as if you still need­ed evi­dence that Welles led a sto­ried life, of a chat he had with the Mup­pets.

You can find some icon­ic, com­plete films by Welles in our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

via Cinephil­ia and Beyond

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lis­ten to Eight Inter­views of Orson Welles by Film­mak­er Peter Bog­danovich (1969–1972)

Watch The Tri­al (1962), Orson Welles’ Worst or Best Film, Adapt­ed From Kafka’s Clas­sic Work

Watch Orson Welles’ The Stranger Free Online, Where 1940s Film Noir Meets Real Hor­rors of WWII

The Hearts of Age: Orson Welles’ Sur­re­al­ist First Film (1934)

Orson Welles Explains Why Igno­rance Was His Major “Gift” to Cit­i­zen Kane

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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