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Kaleidoscope

Hopper/Welles

Orson Welles

USA 2000. 131 Min.
bw. DCP. E/g

Two mavericks who changed Hollywood with their debuts yet could hardly be more different: Orson Welles, the theatre and radio prodigy, who at the age of just 26 redefined what cinema could be with Citizen Kane; and Dennis Hopper, the former James Dean buddy and obstreperous method actor, who gave the battered studio system a much-needed rejuvenation with the global hit Easy Rider in 1969.

 

In November 1970, the European-influenced sophisticate Welles met the hippie cowboy Hopper in Beverly Hills. Hopper chain smokes and drinks gin tonics, filmed by several 16mm cameras. Welles can never be seen, but his famous sonorous voice lends him a divine presence.

 

Lasting just over two hours, Hopper/Welles shows nothing more than a conversation between the two – and is all the more captivating precisely because of this limitation. Welles is fascinated by Hopper, this product of the zeitgeist at the height of his fame, and tries to lure him out of his cover; Hopper plays the primitive "non-intellectual", who doesn't want to be pinned down on questions of politics or the role of the director (God, magician, poet?). Hopper/Welles is also a brilliant document of two masters of manipulation. (sv)

CREDITS

DirectorOrson Welles
CinematographyGary Graver
EditingBob Murawski
WithDennis Hopper, Orson Welles
ProducerFilip Jan Rymsza
DistributionCreative Artists Agency, Los Angeles, www.caa.com

Orson Welles