Born Today, May 6, in 1915 Actor and Master Film-Maker Orson Welles…
“I run a couple of newspapers. What do you do?” - as Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane
Over 115 film and television roles including Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons (narrator), Jane Eyre, The Lady from Shanghai, Macbeth, Prince of Foxes, The Black Rose, The Long Hot Summer, Touch of Evil, The Trial, A Man for All Seasons…
Directed and wrote the ScreenPlays for Citizen Kane , The Magnificent Ambersons and Touch of Evil… among many other films…
American novelist and dramatist best known for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams. He is one of only three novelists to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once, along with William Faulkner and John Updike. (Wikipedia)
From our stacks: 1. Cover detail from Mary’s Neck By Booth Tarkington. Frontispiece by Wallace Morgan. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., 1932. 2.-3. Frontispiece by Clarence F Underwood and cover detail from The Flirt By Booth Tarkington. Illustrated. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919. 4. Frontispiece by Arthur William Brown from Seventeen; A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and The Baxter Family Especially William By Booth Tarkington. Illustrated. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1916.
Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton’s legendary partnership began in the mid-thirties at MGM under the supervision of David O. Selznick, but it wasn’t until the 1942 RKO film Cat People that their chemistry produced an original and highly influential aesthetic. Based on a short story written by Lewton and published in 1930, this cult sensation stars Simone Simon as a Serbian émigré in Manhattan who fears that an ancient curse has doomed her to morph into a feline predator upon physical contact with her lover. Though made on a modest budget with sets left over from other RKO productions, including Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons, Cat People demonstrates the ingenuity and resourcefulness of two perfectly paired visionaries at the height of their creative powers.
The director is simply the audience. So the terrible burden of the director is to take the place of that yawning vacuum, to be the audience and to select from what happens during the day which movement shall be a disaster and which a gala night. His job is to preside over accidents.
One of the great tragedies in cinematic history was the fate of Orson Welles’s 1942 epic, The Magnificent Ambersons, which was cut, reshot, and mutilated by studio functionaries while its visionary director was working on another project in Brazil. Sixty years on, the 132 minutes of the original version—if indeed they exist—are still the holy grail of certain film buffs. The author follows the making, and unmaking, of a movie that Welles believed was the death of his Hollywood career.
By David Kamp
There are two great “lost” movies in the annals of Hollywood filmmaking, Erich von Stroheim’s Greed and Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons. Neither film is lost in a literal, vanished-and-gone sense—both are available on video, are occasionally screened in theaters, and are highly regarded by film critics (four stars apiece in Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide, for example). Rather, their tragic “lost” status stems from the fact that they exist only in truncated, bowdlerized form, having been wrested from the hands of their visionary directors by studio functionaries who were too craven and bottom-line-obsessed to cut these directors some auteurist slack. Since both films well pre-date the preservationist era of film-as-art-and-heritage—Greed was released in 1925, The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942—they have suffered the further indignity of being unreconstructible; studios back in those days didn’t hang on to excised footage for the sake of future director’s cuts on DVD, so the reels upon reels of nitrate film trimmed from the original versions were—depending on which movie you’re talking about and which story you believe—burned, thrown in the garbage, dumped into the Pacific, or simply left to decompose in the vaults.
“Eu sou do tempo em que o cinema europeu invadia o americano”, disse uma vez Manoel de Oliveira. Apesar de originário do velho continente, os Estados Unidos da América são actualmente o maior exportador mundial de cinema facturando biliões com a sétima arte, e acolhendo a cerimónia dos Oscars, a mais mediática mundialmente.
Entre avant-garde e blockbusters, a BBC pediu a 62 críticos de cinema por todo o mundo que escolhessem os 100 melhores filmes da história do cinema norte-americano. Não é, no entanto, de realizadores americanos - na verdade, 32 destes filmes são de realizadores que nasceram fora do país. O intuito foi reunir quais os melhores que estiverem presentes no cenário cinematográfico.
De 1915 (The Birth Of A Nation, DW Griffith) a 2013 (12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen), estes são os 100 filmes mais votados pelos críticos.
100. Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951) 99. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013) 98. Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980) 97. Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939) 96. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) 95. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933) 94. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002) 93. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973) 92. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) 91. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982) 90. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) 89. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950) 88. West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961) 87. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004) 86. The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994) 85. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968) 84. Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972) 83. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938) 82. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981) 81. Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991) 80. Meet Me in St Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944) 79. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) 78. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993) 77. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939) 76. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980) 75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977) 74. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994) 73. Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976) 72. The Shanghai Gesture (Josef von Sternberg, 1941) 71. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993) 70. The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953) 69. Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) 68. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946) 67. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936) 66. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948) 65. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1983) 64. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954) 63. Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984) 62. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) 61. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) 60. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) 59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Miloš Forman, 1975) 58. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940) 57. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989) 56. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985) 55. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) 54. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950) 53. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, 1975) 52. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) 51. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) 50. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940) 49. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978) 48. A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, 1951) 47. Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964) 46. It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) 45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962) 44. Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924) 43. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948) 42. Dr Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) 41. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959) 40. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, 1943) 39. The Birth of a Nation (DW Griffith, 1915) 38. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) 37. Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959) 36. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) 35. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944) 34. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) 33. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) 32. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941) 31. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974) 30. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) 29. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980) 28. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) 27. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975) 26. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978) 25. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989) 24. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960) 23. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) 22. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924) 21. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001) 20. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990) 19. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) 18. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931) 17. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925) 16. McCabe & Mrs Miller (Robert Altman, 1971) 15. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946) 14. Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975) 13. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959) 12. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974) 11. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) 10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) 9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) 8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) 7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952) 6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927) 5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956) 4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) 3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) 2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) 1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)