The Late Orson Welles
April 23, 2014
Philadelphia, PA, US
One of the most fascinating figures in cinema history, Orson Welles is also one of the strangest. While his career as an auteur has been endlessly studied, the downright weird period of his work as a pitchman, narrator and celebrity-cameo-par-excellence has been sorely neglected. "The Late Orson Welles" focuses on his career from 1970 until his death in 1985, showcasing the wide range of animation, documentary, experimental and industrial films and videos to which he lent his indomitable, girthy talents.
Legendarily accepting virtually any paying role as a means to fund his laundry list of pet projects, Welles landed in some far-out places. Some were high-brow (narrating experimental animator Lawrence Jordan’s adaptation of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) and some way, way low (teaching viewers how to play table games in Caesars Guide to Gambling). We’ve compiled a program of the best and worst of late-period Welles, from conspiracy theory documentaries, to a failed late night talk show pilot (special guests: Burt Reynolds and The Muppets!), to commercials, magic tricks and much more. So put on your best cape, raise a glass of Paul Masson wine and join us for a toast to the endlessly fascinating, but little examined, late career of Orson Welles.
The Late Orson Welles video mixtape, Herb Shellenberger, 2014, US, digital, 60'
Future Shock, Alexander Grasshoff, 1972, US, 16mm, 43'