Hello Americans: 2 (Orson Welles)

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9780140275179: Hello Americans: 2 (Orson Welles)

The reason for the decline of Orson Welles' career is a hotly debated issue, but decline it certainly did. When "Citizen Kane", his first film, opened in 1941, Welles was universally acclaimed as the most audacious film maker alive. But instead of marking the beginning of a triumphant career in Hollywood, the film still regularly voted the greatest ever made proved to be an exception in Welles' life and work. He found it increasingly impossible to function within Hollywood's system. Project after project foundered, either abandoned incomplete - as with his ambitious Brazilian epic "It's All True" - or, as in the case of virtually every other film he made in America, being released in very different form from the one he intended. Finally, in 1947, he left America for Europe where for the best part of twenty years he lived in self-imposed exile, occasionally and briefly returning to stage a play, make a film or shoot a television drama. In close and colourful detail, "Hello Americans" examines the years from "Citizen Kane" to "Macbeth" in which Welles' Hollywood film career came apart. It offers a scrupulous analysis of the factors involved, revealing the immense and sometimes self-defeating complexities of Welles' temperament as well as some of the monstrous personalities with whom he had to contend. At the same time, the book gives full weight to the almost bewildering range of his activities beyond Hollywood: his serious but doomed attempts to be a radio comedian and stage magician, his flamboyant and financially disastrous endeavour to revive spectacular theatre single-handedly, his newspaper columns, and the political activities into which he so passionately flung himself. And of course the films, as fascinating as they were flawed: "The Magnificent Ambersons", "Journey Into Fear", "The Stranger", and "The Lady From Shanghai". The thread that runs through this apparently incoherent blur of activity is an often frustrated engagement with his native land, its faults, its dreams, its popular arts, and its history. But by 1947, he had said all that he had to say to his fellow citizens; it was Goodbye Americans for two decades of endlessly experimental and innovative but essentially European work.

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Review:

"Callow is a match for his subject in terms of showmanship but he has gifts
of analysis that eluded Welles" -- Christopher Sylvester, The Sunday Times

"A vivid, sympathetic account… provides a definitive explanation of Welles’s ultimate, lingering downfall." -- Financial Times

"Hello Americans is full of witty asides… Enchanting" -- Christopher Silvester, The Sunday Times

"The research is breathtaking. The book is bursting with details, references and anecdotes" -- The Times, James Christopher

"The research is breathtaking. The book is bursting with details, references and anecdotes" -- The Times

"Welles’s packed schedule is rifled through with chatty elegance" -- Sunday Telegraph, Catherine Shoard

'Callow’s authoritative analyses, and the honest, modest tenor of his gorgeous prose, are a joy to read.’ -- David Isaacson, The Word

'[A] universal story of hubris, wasted talent, and celebrity achieved at much too young an age.' -- Spectator

`Book of the Year', as chosen by Philip French. -- The Observer

`The only biog really worth it's salt this year...reliably
entertaining, wise and sane'
-- Catherine Shoard, Evening Standard

From the Publisher:

The second volume of Simon Callow's brilliant, definitive biography of Orson Welles.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 137 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. As a man and an artist, Orson Welles was larger-than-life--vivid, energetic, unpredictable, and riveting. But in this first volume of his masterful, highly acclaimed biography, Simon Callow finally captures the chameleonic genius whole, as only an actor/director deeply rooted in the entertainment industry could. Here, brilliantly placed in its historical and social setting, is Welles s prodigious childhood; his youth in New York, with its fraught partnership with John Houseman and the groundbreaking triumphs of his all-black Macbeth and his modern-dress Julius Caesar; the pioneering radio work that culminated in the notorious 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds ; and finally, Hollywood--with a fascinatingly detailed and authoritative account of the making of Citizen Kane, still regarded by many as the finest film of all time. Rich in detail, wit, and insight, Callow s Orson Welles succeeds in revealing a life even more extraordinary than the myths that have surrounded it. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140275179

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 137 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. As a man and an artist, Orson Welles was larger-than-life--vivid, energetic, unpredictable, and riveting. But in this first volume of his masterful, highly acclaimed biography, Simon Callow finally captures the chameleonic genius whole, as only an actor/director deeply rooted in the entertainment industry could. Here, brilliantly placed in its historical and social setting, is Welles s prodigious childhood; his youth in New York, with its fraught partnership with John Houseman and the groundbreaking triumphs of his all-black Macbeth and his modern-dress Julius Caesar; the pioneering radio work that culminated in the notorious 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds ; and finally, Hollywood--with a fascinatingly detailed and authoritative account of the making of Citizen Kane, still regarded by many as the finest film of all time. Rich in detail, wit, and insight, Callow s Orson Welles succeeds in revealing a life even more extraordinary than the myths that have surrounded it. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140275179

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