In 1955, Orson Welles directed and hosted a mini series for British television. He leads us through a few famous places of Europe with his inimitable touch. In Paris he introduces us to ... See full summary »
In 1955, Orson Welles directed and hosted a mini series for British television. He leads us through a few famous places of Europe with his inimitable touch. In Paris he introduces us to famous artists such as Juliette Gréco or Jean Cocteau who lived in the Saint Germain Des Pres quarter. In London we meet the Chelsea Pensioners, in Spain we attend a Madrid Bullfight and visit the Basque country (Basque Country 1&2). Somewhere between a home movie and a cinematic essay, these short films have been described by French critics as the missing link in Welles' work. Written by
Orson Welles' BBC documentary: non-judgmental, made with love
Missing in the reviews above and blurbs on the DVD is mention of the the only full-length interview on film of Isadora Duncan's brother Raymond Duncan (in the Paris segment). The eighty-year-old artist shows his sculptures inspired by the Greeks, shows us around his printing presses where he sets type he designed emulating the Greek alphabet, tells us why he is dressed in the classical Greek clamys (the Greek equivalent to the toga), and expounds on his philosophy of life which emphasizes individualism. He is bright, alert, endearing. And, by the way, he did not run his Akademia as a commune, but as an art center which included art studios, a theater where musicians, poets and actors appeared twice a week, and an art gallery. Raymond Duncan would return to America every year or so (except during WW II) to do his one-man show at Carnegie Hall or Town Hall in NY. Orson Welles is a fine interviewer, allowing his subjects to tell their stories with dignity. He loves people. This series shows us how it can be done with one camera and a tiny crew: the magical element is Orson Welles' unpretentiousness.
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