Thursday, May 11, 2006

An extraordinary presence

The Guardian on the long-awaited second volume of Simon Callow's biography of Orson Welles:

Many of Welles's admirers are besotted apologists. Callow is clear-eyed about the behaviour of this self-aggrandising egotist, but he's never smugly censorious. He brings his own experience as an actor and director to bear on Welles's films and performances and there is here some of the most vivid and instructive writing on the craft of movie and stage acting I've ever read. 'The truth is,' he observes, 'that on screen Welles was an extraordinary presence, but rarely an engaged actor.'

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