Parallax View Presents

An archive of Parallax View “Special Sections”

Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on May 6, 1915. This week marks his centenary: the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of the most influential, ambitious, unique, and complicated filmmakers in the American cinema, or any cinema, for that matter. The occasion has been celebrated with a number of new books and documentaries on Welles, the first significant progress on completing his unfinished feature The Other Side of the Wind, retrospectives of his films, a tribute to Welles at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and a symposium at Indiana University featuring many of the top Orson Welles scholars in the world. Here’s what Parallax View contributors have written about Orson Welles.
– Sean Axmaker

‘Citizen Kane’ by Richard T. Jameson
‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ by Richard T. Jameson
‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ by Robert Horton
The Earth is Made of Glass: Orson Welles’ ‘The Stranger’ by Peter Richards
‘The Lady from Shanghai’ by Richard T. Jameson
‘Othello’ by Richard T. Jameson
‘Mr. Arkadin’ by Richard Jameson
‘Touch of Evil’ by Richard T. Jameson
‘Touch of Evil’: Crossing the Line by Robert C. Cumbow
The Making, Unmaking and Reclamation of ‘Touch of Evil’ by Sean Axmaker
“A tremendous piece of filmmaking”: Walter Murch on ‘Touch of Evil’ interview
“Let’s give them something to really work with”: Rick Schmidlin on revising ‘Touch of Evil’ interview by Sean Axmaker
“A once in a lifetime project”: Bob O’Neil on restoring and revising ‘Touch of Evil’ interview by Sean Axmaker
“A rough, jagged, jarring, shaking-you-up kind of movie”: Janet Leigh on ‘Touch of Evil’ interview by Sean Axmaker
“Actors loved him”: Charlton Heston on Orson Welles and ‘Touch of Evil’ interview by Sean Axmaker
Cinematic Archeology: ‘Orson Welles’ Don Quixote’? Not even close by Sean Axmaker

Related features on other sites:
Orson Welles: The Enigmatic Independent (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)
The Orson Welles Bookshelf (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)
Rediscovery: Orson Welles’ ‘Too Much Johnson’ (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)
Schooled by Orson Welles: Roberto Perpignani (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)
Orson Welles goes ‘Around the World’ (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)
Orson Welles: ‘The Trial’ (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)

“What is cinema?” asks New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Belmondo of Sam Fuller in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Pierrot le Fou.” He answers: “Film is like a battleground: love, hate, action, death… In one word, EMOTION.” It doesn’t matter whether Godard or Fuller wrote the line (regardless, Fuller’s gruff, cigar chomping delivery makes it his). It stands as a marvelous summation of a career of uncompromising films. A former journalist, pulp writer and soldier, he made tough guy films with mad passion and driving energy that examined the identity of America. His patriotic passion comes through every jagged, explosive frame. The small screen simply can’t hold that much energy.
—Sean Axmaker

Hey, Mom, Where’s My Suicide Note Collection? by Richard Thompson
Creature Contact by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Fuller: An Introduction by Sean Axmaker
The Samuel Fuller Film Collection by Richard T. Jameson
“When it’s night time …”: Myth and the Geography of the Unconscious in ‘I Shot Jesse James’ by Rick Hermann
The Steel Helmet: “I’ve got a hunch we’re all going around in circles” by Kathleen Murphy
‘Run of the Arrow’: Birth Pangs of the United States by Rick Hermann
The Big Red One by Robert Horton
At last … the really ‘Big Red One’ by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Peckinpah by Sam Fuller

(April-July 2010) Outlaws all, Peckinpah’s native sons are obsessed by whatever dream of self and destiny they’ve signed on for. When that dream is violated or diminished, as it must always be, these fractured souls convulse in outrage. In the penultimate films, the grand gestures of outrage became crippled and crowded, the skull beneath the skin of Peckinpah’s increasingly entropic style showing through at every turn. In what stands as one of the finest pieces of Peckinpavian criticism—Notes on the Nihilist Poetry of Sam Peckinpah—Pauline Kael wrote that The Killer Elite isn’t about C.I.A.-sponsored assassinations—it’s about the blood of a poet. Few of his movies were about anything else.
—Kathleen Murphy

“A Privilege to Work in Films”: Sam Peckinpah Among Friends moderated by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Peckinpah: No Bleeding Heart by Kathleen Murphy
Introduction to Film Comment Midsection (1981) by Richard T. Jameson
Ride the High Country by Robert Horton
Short Notice: “The Marshal” by Richard T. Jameson
The Beautiful and the Damned: Major Dundee by Richard T. Jameson
Learning to Do It Right: The Wild Bunch – A Personal Reflection by Robert C. Cumbow
The Ballad of Cable Hogue by Robert C. Cumbow
The Ballad of Cable Hogue by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Peckinpah by Sam Fuller
The Ballad of David Sumner: A Peckinpah Psychodrama by Kathleen Murphy
Another Side of Sam Peckinpah: The Ballad of Cable Hogue and Jr. Bonner by Rick Hermann
“Tough ole Hide”: The Getaway by David Willingham
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid by Richard T. Jameson
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia by Richard T. Jameson & Kathleen Murphy
Peckinpah Doesn’t Sing Along by David Coursen
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia by Kathleen Murphy
The Killer Elite by Robert Cumbow
Cross of Iron: On Getting Past the Blood by Richard T. Jameson
Convoy by Richard T. Jameson
Lost “Weekend” by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Peckinpah on DVD: A Guide to Resources by Sean Axmaker


(February-March, 2010) Kathryn Bigelow has been making tough, rich, evocative movies for decades, too few in our estimation, and too often dismissed for the visceral, aggressive qualities that make them so compelling. Now, after leaving an unfulfilling relationship with Hollywood and going the independent route, she brought her uncompromising vision to the screen to the screen with The Hurt Locker, shopped it around films festivals and distributors, and took home the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director: the first woman in the history of Oscar to do so. Join us as we celebrate this dark daughter of Hawks and Hitchcock: Kathryn Bigelow, one of the most provocative and visceral cinematic artists spinning stories on screen. Finally getting her recognition.

The Loveless Worlds of Kathryn Bigelow by Robert C. Cumbow
Black Arts by Kathleen Murphy
True Fiction: Kathryn Bigelow on The Hurt Locker – Interview by Sean Axmaker
The Way You Don’t Die: The Hurt Locker by Sean Axmaker

Related articles and reviews on other sites:
Bravo, Bigelow: Why Oscar Should Crown Kathryn Bigelow ‘Queen of Directors’ (Kathleen Murphy, MSN)
Hurt So Good (review of The Hurt Locker by Kathleen Murphy, MSN)
The Work of War, at a Fever Pitch (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)
How Oscar Found Ms. Right (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)
An Interview with Kathryn Bigelow (Robert Horton, Everett Herald)
Interview: Kathryn Bigelow (Scott Tobias, The Onion)
Kathryn Bigelow (Steven Shaviro, The Pinocchio Theory)
Georges Bataille and the Visceral Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow (Jeff Karnicky, Enculturation)
Strange Visions: Kathryn Bigelow’s Metafiction (Laura Rascaroli, Enculturation)
Kathryn Bigelow on Charlie Rose (video via LinkDrop today, Bigelow’s interview is about 30 minutes in)
Links to Scholarly Essays on Kathryn Bigelow (courtesy Catherine Grant at Film Studies for Free)


(September 2009) With two new films from Werner Herzog, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (David Hudson collects the reviews at The Auteurs Daily here) and My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? (again, David Hudson rounds up responses at The Auteurs Daily here), at the 2009 Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, Parallax View revisits his earlier films with new and archival essays and reviews.

On Staring Into the Camera: Aguirre and Bears by Robert Horton
Rescue Dawn: The Challenge of the Extraordinary by Robert C. Cumbow
Losing Focus: Three Herzog Shorts by David Coursen
Grizzly Man: The Overwhelming Indifference Of Nature by Sean Axmaker
Fitzcarraldo: The Idea Was a Bold One by Robert C. Cumbow
Stroszek by David Coursen
Heart of Glass by David Coursen
Land of Silence and Darkness: What It Means to be Human by David Coursen
Aguirre, The Wrath Of God: Extraordinary Images, Extraordinary Resonance by Ken Eisler
Aguirre, The Wrath of God: Defying the Natural Order by David Coursen
Signs of Life: Longing for a Rational, Ordered World by David Coursen
Offing the Pig: Even Dwarfs Started Small by Ken Eisler
Even Dwarfs Started Small: Persistence and Futility by David Coursen

Leave a Reply