Orson Welles

How Orson Welles Almost Made His Film Debut With an Innovative ‘Heart of Darkness’ Adaptation

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Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Orson Welles, one of the cinema’s foremost artists — and one of its greatest tragedies, personifying as he does the industry’s predilection for chewing up great filmmakers and spitting them out, leaving them to scrounge for scraps. The tale of Welles’ post-Citizen Kane career has been told and told (his masterpiece debut all but blackballed by a bitter William Randolph Hearst and an indifferent industry, its follow-up massacred by a nervous studio, his remaining films scraped together on the cheap and treated poorly by studios, distributors and audiences), and these days, there’s nearly as much ink devoted to the films he didn’t make or complete — due to financial troubles, rights issues, and the like — as those he did. But for this fan, the most fascinating of the Welles movies that never happened would’ve been his first feature: an ambitious film adaptation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, potentially as groundbreaking as Kane, the film he settled on when Darkness fell apart.
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The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Top Five,’ ‘Ever After’

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It’s a bit of a dodgy week for home movie viewing, new release-wise at least; the calendar is dominated by the likes of that Penguins of Madagascar thing, the ill-advised Annie remake, and the unfortunate Exodus: White Gods and Kings. But there’s good news too, as this week sees the release of one of last year’s best comedies, the Blu-ray debuts of two all-time classics, and a hidden gem from Criterion. Plus, for you Netflixers, we offer a fave from ’98 rendered newly timely.
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An Orson Welles-Worthy Science Fiction Film Marathon

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This year marks the centenary of Orson Welles’ birth, and celebrations are in full swing at New York’s Film Forum through February 3. The influential filmmaker enraptured audiences with his first feature at only 25 years old, 1941’s Citizen Kane — but the movie mogul also achieved tremendous success in theater, television, and radio. In one of his most famous broadcasts, 1938’s The War of the Worlds, Welles simulated an alien invasion on Earth, creating widespread panic, securing his fame one of the finest storytellers of the 20th century. In celebration of Welles’ 100th year, we’re looking to his dramatist roots and have compiled a science fiction movie marathon worthy of his War of the Worlds days. Add these movies to your Netflix and VOD queues.
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Flavorwire’s 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

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A new year is upon us, and a peek ahead at 2015’s cinematic offerings is… well, kinda depressing. As you peruse the many 2015 preview pieces on movie sites, there’s a noticeable sameness — namely because they’re chock full of sequels. And some of those sequels (The Avengers, Mad Max, The Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect, Magic Mike, Mission: Impossible, and, yes, Star Wars) might be great! But their domination of said lists speaks to the weakness of said lists; we’re banking anticipation almost exclusively on known quantities, from earlier films and filmmakers. And with Sundance and the rest of the spring festivals still on the horizon, we can’t yet guess at the smaller sleepers. BUT, nonetheless, we present this look at a few slightly off-the-grid and out-of-the-box movies that might be worth talking about this …Read More

How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA

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Earlier this year, John Waters — whose last movie, A Dirty Shame, was released a full decade ago — finally got the offer he’d been waiting for all this time. According to his hitchhiking chronicle Carsick, his very first driver was “Harris,” “an art school type” with a sideline in weed dealing who called himself a fan. They talked for a bit about movies before Harris asked the (five) million-dollar question: “How come you aren’t making a movie?”
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