Tweaked since it bowed at Telluride, where Channing Tatum and Hilary Swank came to see the film, “Magician” digs into Welles’ oeuvre on the eve of his centenary. Workman covers the midwestern childhood demons that fueled “Citizen Kane,” young Welles’ prodigious theatrical accomplishments, love of Shakespeare, and move toward radio and cinema with “Citizen Kane,” which was demolished by the film’s fictionalized subject, William Randolph Hearst, as well as how Welles was his own worst enemy in terms of protecting his work. There is rarely seen footage of such masterpieces as “Chimes at Midnight” (he plays Falstaff) and “Macbeth,” “The Trial” and “Mr. Arkadin.”
“Magician” includes clips from almost every existing Welles film, from “Hearts of Age,” which he shot in one day at age 18 to rare unfinished films “The Other Side of the Wind,” “The Deep,” and “Don Quixote” as well as some appearances on television and commercials. Also in the film are interviews with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Richard Linklater (“Me and Orson Welles”), and of course, critic and filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich.
“Magician” opens December 12th at Lincoln Plaza and the Royal in Los Angeles for a one-week Academy-qualifying run. Exclusive trailer and poster below.