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Orson Welles, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, March 1, 1937.

Interchange – Orson Around: In Conversation with Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore

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Tonight’s program “Orson Around,” is a glimpse at the life and movies of Orson Welles.

This conversation took place in the breakfast room at the Grant Street Inn in Bloomington earlier in the year during the week that Indiana University hosted a Welles Symposium to celebrate his centenary. Yes, Orson Welles was born 100 years ago. But he still seems ahead of us.

We begin with Jonathan Rosenbaum talking about Oja Kodar, who was the principal collaborator and partner of Orson Welles during the last twenty-four years of his life. She was a muse, no doubt, and an artist in her own right. Kodar surely complicates this statement Welles made in the 1950s to the French writer Maurice Bessy (and that Jim Naremore talks about later in the program), “I hate women, but I need them…Women block all conversation. That dates from the day they won the right to vote. They should have stayed slaves.” Jonathan Rosenbaum says that Welles’s unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind might be called his only feminist film. Of course its female star, played by Oja Kodar, doesn’t speak a word.

GUESTS
James Naremore is the author of five books and dozens of essays on film and modern literature, and is the editor of four volumes of film criticism and theory. His research deals with a variety of writers, directors, and performers, including such figures as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, and Vincente Minnelli. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication and Culture and Indiana University.

Jonathan Rosenbaum was the chief film critic for the Chicago Reader for twenty years, and has written of film for many other publications. He is the also the author of many books, including Movies as Politics. He publishes his criticism on his own website, jonathanrosenbaum.net.

MUSIC
From the Henri Mancini soundtrack to Touch of Evil: “Main Theme,” “Tara’s Theme,” and “Orson Around.” We also heard excerpts from the movies Citizen Kane, F for Fake, Moby Dick, and Touch of Evil.

CREDITS
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

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