ME AND ORSON WELLES (Richard Linklater, 2008)

Seventeen-year-old Richard Samuels may be daydreaming, hoping for release from the stultifying high school English class that’s now taking up Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It must be a dream, but the Jewish boy finds himself, on a Manhattan street, hired by Orson Welles to play Lucius, Brutus’s page, in the actual 1937 Mercury Theatre production of […]

GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT (Brian De Palma, 1972)

Somewhat in anticipation of Jim Jarmusch, Brian De Palma (appropriately) directs on the downbeat Jordan Crittenden’s very funny original script for Get to Know Your Rabbit, a satire of the egotistical American mantra of “living life at the gut level”—a slick, twisted philosophy some associate with the paranoid nut-case who at the time of the […]

F FOR FAKE (Orson Welles, 1975)

F for Fake, also known as Vérités et mensonges (Truths and Lies), is Orson Welles’s exquisite documentary about trickery and fraud—something the world’s most famous amateur magician should know something about. Indeed, the film nearly begins with a cloaked Welles delighting two children with a magic trick at a train depot. It exactly begins with […]

THREE CASES OF MURDER (Wendy Toye, David Eady, George More O’Ferrall, Orson Welles(?), 1954)

Orson Welles stars as MP Lord Mountdrago in the final part of the British mystery anthology Three Cases of Murder, and he is rumored to have largely directed the segment as well—and its intensity, riveting suspense and brilliant wit all lend credence to the rumor. George More O’Ferrall, the credited director, worked almost entirely in […]

AU BONHEUR DES DAMES (Julien Duvivier, 1930)

Julien Duvivier’s Au bonheur des dames updates Zola’s 1883 novel, part of the Rougon-Macquart cycle, and substitutes a huge department store for a huge bookstore (scenes were actually shot inside Galleries Lafayette in Paris), in either case showing how the expansion of the goliath, and the capitalistic greed promoting this, destroys a small business, in […]