Friday, December 27, 2013

"My Lunches With Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles" Edited by Peter Biskind


Totally a readable can't put it down book, but in the end, it is also a very depressing book. Over a period of time, the independent filmmaker Henry Jaglom had a series of lunches with Orson Welles at his favorite restaurant, and taped all their conversations. The first question that comes to mind is why would Welles want to have his conversations taped, especially when it deals with nitty gritty business issues? The second horrible thing is that Welles comes off as a bitter broken down guy who is basically full of anger and seems not to be able to really comprehend why he is not part of - then circa 1984- film industry. 

I think what it comes down to it is old-fashioned insecurity. There is no doubt in my mind that Welles is a fantastic filmmaker, and even personality - but there does seem to be a problem with focus in his life. Also I wonder why Jaglom never funded or actually produce a Welles film? Yet he is with him complaining and bellyaching about this and that. In a funny way he comes off as Iago to Welles Othello. 

Welles is also has harsh opinions on individuals which I think are totally unfair, and worst, makes him an over-sized cry baby. The book he did with Peter Bogdanovich is pretty great because one, it exposes Welles' strength as a filmmaker and figure, and two, it also showed his catty-side. This book, only shows his catty-side, and it is not a nice portrait of a man, who like Nixon, shouldn't have his conversations taped.

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