Academic journal article Afterimage

The Magic World of Orson Welles: Centennial Anniversary Edition

Academic journal article Afterimage

The Magic World of Orson Welles: Centennial Anniversary Edition

Article excerpt

The Magic World of Orson Welles: Centennial Anniversary Edition

By James Naremore/University of Illinois Press/2015/340 pp./$95.00 (hb), $20.00 (sb)

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In celebration of Orson Welles's centenary this year, several excellent books have emerged to further articulate the crucial impact of Welles on film, history, and film history. Works such as Marguerite Rippy's Orson Welles and the Unfinished RKO Projects: A Postmodern Perspective (2009), Alberto Anile's Orson Welles in Italy (2013), Patrick McGilligan's Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane (2015), and Josh Karp's Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind (2015) seem timed to ride (or perpetuate) this wave into a new century of Welles scholarship. One of the essential components of this wave is the third (and centennial) edition of James Naremore's classic The Magic of Orson Welles, which, in its own right, seems to reassert its primacy.

When The Magic of Orson Welles was originally published by Oxford University Press in 1978, it integrated the political and psychological dimensions of Welles's oeuvre with traditional film analysis. This was at a time when Welles scholarship, already invigorated by auteurist interpretations, began to develop into the sophisticated albeit curious body of work that it is today. …

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