Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles, and it’s a very good, well-edited, concise overview of his life and work by Academy Award winner Chuck Workman. Well-worth seeing and worthy of Welles’ genius. Numerous scenes from his films; many interview clips with Welles, associates, other name fans, and those closest to him. Clever choices of background music with some familiar film themes played with other material! A nice balance of bio and the film work with the latter taking precedence. Movies featured include Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Macbeth, Othello, The Trial, Touch of Evil, Falstaff, and F Is for Fake. Some of his unfinished work is commented on, though the director, ironically, doesn’t know Don Quixote and Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight) are available to fans, and The Other Side of the Wind is possibly coming out this year or next. Despite whatever failures and lack of Hollywood support, Welles lived his dreams and was a lover of life, women, the stage, film, and food. He managed to pack in a lot of significant purpose, adventures, and happiness in 70-too-short years. Highly recommended for any students of film and classic film or classic film directors.
This entertaining, informative, comprehensive film stands highly along with the excellent documentary on Roger Ebert–Life Itself also released on DVD this year. Film fans can only hope that Marlon Brando will also be eventually be treated appropriately and similarly with a documentary. It would be great if PBS’s American Masters would finally give Brando his due. A major oversight thusfar if ever there was one.