There have long been rumors of a lost cache of tapes containing private conversations between Orson Welles and his friend the director Henry Jaglom, recorded over regular lunches in the years before Welles died. The tapes, gathering dust in a garage, did indeed exist, and this book reveals for the first time what they contain.
Here is Welles as he has never been seen before: talking intimately, disclosing personal secrets, reflecting on the highs and lows of his astonishing Hollywood career, the people he knew—FDR, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, David Selznick, Rita Hayworth, and more—and the many disappointments of his last years. This is the great director unplugged, free to be irreverent and worse—sexist, homophobic, racist, or none of the above— because he was nothing if not a fabulator and provocateur. Ranging from politics to literature to movies to the shortcomings of his friends and the many films he was still eager to launch, Welles is at once cynical and romantic, sentimental and raunchy, but never boring and always wickedly funny.
Edited by Peter Biskind, America's foremost film historian, My Lunches with Orson reveals one of the giants of the twentieth century, a man struggling with reversals, bitter and angry, desperate for one last triumph, but crackling with wit and a restless intelligence. This is as close as we will get to the real Welles—if such a creature ever existed.
Peter Biskind is the acclaimed author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Down and Dirty Pictures, and Star, among other books. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. He is the former executive editor of Premiere and the former editor in chief of American Film, and is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. He lives in upstate New York.
Originally published in 1991.
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The book describes everything from Eastwood's formative years and early days as a struggling actor to his family and personal life to his lifelong love of jazz music and his political leanings. The chapters describe not only his tremendous accomplishments and countless successes but also his notable failures—coverage that will intrigue readers interested in the film industry, in the acting craft, and in enduring popular cultural icons.
The chopper-riding hippie outlaw in Easy Rider. The prophetic madman in the jungle in Apocalypse Now. The terrifying psychopath in Blue Velvet. The kid gone wrong in Rebel Without a Cause. The actor taken under the wing of James Dean, a friendship that set Dennis Hopper on his path to becoming a star. A quintessentially American dreamer longing to be the next Orson Welles. The hell-raising director who revolutionized Hollywood.
Dennis Hopper’s extraordinary journey takes him to superhero highs and plummeting lows. Capturing the magic and the madness of his American Dream, Hopper is a wild ride through Dennis’s many lives. Written in a rebel spirit, complemented with iconic photographs, and packed with insights from his fellow actors, artists, and friends, Hopper tells the story of a half-century of rebellion waged at the edge of pop culture.
A work of brilliant analysis and meticulous conception, Seeing Is Believing offers fascinating insights into how to read films of any era.