Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Orson Talks (and talks and talks and talks...)

I recently finished reading My Lunches with Orson, a book of conversations between the great Welles and Henry Jaglom, director of such films as "Queen of the Lot," (which I just added to my Netflix queue as it contains the endlessly adorable Noah Wyle). Welles was fond of recording himself for posterity, because there is a nearly identical book called This Is Orson Welles, which transcribes his conversations with Peter Bogdanovich. And while yes, this does make Welles seem incredibly vain, it's also entertaining as hell, because could that man tell a story! The anecdotes fall into one of three categories:
  1. That can't possibly be true.
  2. That might be true.
  3. If that's not true, it should be.
You'll notice there is no "100% true" category, because I just can't get to that place when Welles is telling stories (especially about John Houseman -- meow!). Not that I am saying he's a big liar, although I think sometimes he was. But I think every story is embellished, whether a lot or a little.

I liked "My Lunches" a little bit more, in part because it takes us up to the very end of Welles' life; his last conversation with Jaglom was just a few days before Welles died. In reading them, I came away feeling like I learned something about Hollywood, a lot about film making, and not very much about Welles himself. Which is I'm sure just how he intended it to be.

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