Me & Orson Welles (Warner). Richard Linklater’s 2009 film, now out on home video, is a witty, ingenious, perfectly cast, brilliantly designed, and astonishingly well informed backstage rom-com about the Mercury Theatre’s 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar. It didn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserved when it was released, and I saw it purely by chance on an airplane a couple of months ago. Catch up with it now and prepare to be both charmed and enthralled. I don’t know when I’ve seen a better movie about what it feels like to put on a play (TT).
Archives for September 15, 2010
Joe Orton, interviewed on ITV’s The Eamonn Andrews Show five months before his death in 1967:
(This is the latest in a weekly series of arts-related videos that appear in this space each Wednesday.)
I received the first copy of the paperback edition of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong in yesterday’s mail. It’ll be published by Mariner Books on October 7, and you can already order a copy from Amazon by going here.
The Pops paperback is a good-looking piece of work, bestrewn inside and out with vanity-piquing quotes from some of the book’s admiring reviewers. Even if you already own the hardcover edition, you might want to consider buying a copy of the paperback for two reasons. Not only did I correct a dozen or so niggling little errors in the text, but Mariner has also fixed the cover photograph of Armstrong, which was inadvertently reversed on the original dust jacket.
The funny thing about this blunder is that nobody who knew Armstrong–including four close friends of his who read the manuscript of Pops–noticed it. It wasn’t until I received a pair of e-mails from James Breig and Kenny Harris, two readers of this blog who have very sharp eyes, that I realized that the cover photo had been flipped. Now that I’m able to view the two editions side by side, I’ll confess that I can still barely tell the two Satchmos apart. Except for a tiny depression on his forehead, he was a symmetrical-looking guy.
Be that as it may, I’m delighted to nudge Pops a bit closer to perfection. I sat down last night and read through it for the first time in months, and I was pleased and proud. I think I did right by Louis Armstrong. I hope you agree.
“Civilizations have been founded and maintained on theories which refused to obey facts.”
Joe Orton, What the Butler Saw