If you’ve never seen the footage from Orson Welles‘ lost South American movie,
It’s All True this footage is a must see. RKO pulled the plug when they found out that Welles was shooting mostly native fishermen and black samba clubs in the favela, a part of Brazil neither RKO nor the Brazilian government much wanted publicized. I bring up the subject only because I finally finished reading Orson Welles:Hello Americans (Simon Callow, Viking, 1997), the second volume of what will eventually be a three part biography of the Welles, and as good a book on the subject as we’re likely to ever see. This volume begins with the filming of the Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and ends after his 1948 screen version of Macbeth. Despite taking in only six years of his career, it’s quite a read. It’s been sitting in the pile of unread books for almost a decade, now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it I had to go back and look at this footage again, discovered in the early 90’s and lovingly re-assembled by Bill Krohn and Myron Meisel, I remember TCM running it in 1993, it might have even played the at the Film Forum here in NYC if I remember correctly. Another example of what could have been. Also worth keeping an eye out for is F Is For Fake, Welles’ 1974 documentary about art forger Elmyr and scam artist Clifford Irving (who faked Howard Hughes’ autobiography), it’s in regular rotation on the Ovation channel, your best bet is to tape it so you can fast forward through the longest and worst commercials in TV history.