Genius. Madman. Trailblazer. Provocateur. There are nearly as many words to describe Orson Welles as there are rumors about the man who set Broadway, Hollywood and the broadcast airwaves afire with his productions of The Cradle Will Rock (stage), The War of the Worlds (radio) and, of course, Citizen Kane, which still considered by many to be the greatest film ever made.
On the centenary of Welles’ birth, the appropriately brilliant 2014 documentary, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, will be showcased in a one-night-only screening at The Flicks on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. Making the evening extra special is a question and answer session following the screening featuring veteran character actor Peter Jason, who was cast in Welles’ mysterious production of The Other Side of the Wind, which took six years to film but has never seen the light of day.
“It’s been sitting in a vault somewhere in Paris,” Jason told Boise Weekly. “It’s a long story of why it was there for more than 40 years. Only a handful of people have seen some select scenes from the film.”
Jason has endless stories about Welles, including the fact he was never really paid for acting in The Other Side of the Wind.
“Years after the movie was completed, I reminded Orson that he still owed me $32,000. So, he gave me his car,” Jason said. “Gorgeous. A 1970 Cadillac convertible. But Orson still owed me about $26,000 until the day he died.”
Jason called Welles a “genius” but added he was also “greedy,” a “fearmonger” and “filled with demons.” The Oct. 8 event promises a delicious feast of inside stories for film buffs and Welles fans in particular.