François Thomas & Jean-Pierre Berthomé — Orson Welles at Work (Phaidon Press) :: It’s a monument to his undisputed congenital genius that, despite a maddeningly meager output of a mere 12 feature films completed over the span of 33 years, Orson Welles remains one of America’s greatest movie directors nearly a quarter century after his death. Now comes this long overdue and comprehensive new 300-page hardcover from Phaidon which will show you why Orson is still held in such high esteem — and I do mean show, because this stylish retrospective is the biggest and best-illustrated biography of Welles ever published, an ambitious undertaking that dares to do an extensive examination of the man’s entire bravura cinematic career in sequence. The immortal story begins with Welles’ early days on the boards and on the radio with the Mercury Theater in New York; follows him through his notorious trials and tribulations in Hollywood; and finally charts his project-laden globetrotting latter decades — it’s all true.
And although the initial appeal of the book lies in its vast archive of more than 400 rare archival studio production photographs, drawings and documents, the true crux of Orson Welles at Work can be found in the accompanying text which, over the course of 25 chapters, painstakingly delineates both the methodology and psychology behind Welles’ movies — with the authors being especially adept at noting whether Welles’ creative decisions were made by accident, design, or necessity.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Everlast ¾ Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford (Martyr Inc) :: Heavier than the specific gravity of a cosmos-suckin’ black hole, this savage slice of protest rap rock will have you convinced that Everlast are the public airwaves’ new Public Enemy — and that’s no radio hoax. Inspirational lyric: "To the victors go the spoils and that’s oil wells. Call Orson Welles, ’cause the world’s at war and the front line’s just outside your front door!"
I’ll provide the