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Making Movies With Orson Welles Paperback – 18 Oct 2011
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Gary Graver, one of Orson Welles' closest collaborators, has written a superb book on Welles. It is a captivating and insightful look at their extraordinary relationship, a must-have for Welles fans and academians alike.--Frank Marshall, Producer, Raiders of the Lost Ark --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Gary Graver (1938-2006) was a respected cinematographer who worked on nearly 200 films. He served as cameraman for such filmmakers as Paul Bartel, Budd Boetticher, John Cassavetes, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, and Orson Welles. Andrew J. Rausch is the author of several books on film including Turning Points in Film History and Fifty Filmmakers: Conversations with Directors from Roger Avary to Steven Zaillian. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Gary Graver came along during the great man’s decline, offering his services, rounding up crews whenever O.W. had a whim to shoot more footage for “The Other Side of the Wind” or whatever hackwork was paying the bills that particular month. Circumstances forced them to adopt the tactics of guerilla film-makers and Orson pieced together what he could salvage, incorporating the footage into projects that dragged on through several American presidencies.
Mr. Graver’s collaborator, Andrew J. Rausch, and Welles biographer Joseph McBride, do their best to assure us of Mr. Graver’s peerless prowess as a B-roll, second unit director and/or highly esteemed cameraman of classics like, er, “Satan’s Sadists”. But the truth is that by 1970, when Graver met Welles, the latter was in an artistic funk, desperate for whatever help he could get. Graver was in the right place at the right time and he knew how to load film in a camera. Welcome aboard, son…
As a memoir, Making Movies With Orson Welles is more of an oral history–choppy and episodic and structurally creaky. For Welles fans, there are some glimpses of his stubborn genius, a few anecdotes about his working methods, some examples that showed he retained his ferocious intellect even in the wilderness, unpitying and hard-driving, a stern taskmaster for young, inexperienced and ever-changing crews. Graver evinces awe of Orson Welles at every turn, which must have made him an agreeable companion for a notorious egoist and raconteur. But that quality also damages his credibility; Graver is (at best) an unreliable commentator, an apprentice refusing to dish dirt on his master, a minor talent who can’t help continually pinching himself at the prospect of working for the man who made “Kane”.
Diverting hagiography; for completists only.
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