Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles follows the great man’s 1937 Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar, in the years when Welles was still busy making his mark in theater and radio, before Citizen Kane. We caught up with Linklater—who had just shot some more of his 12-year Boyhood project the previous weekend—for a couple of questions about the filmmaker to come…
It’s not fair to ask what your favorite Welles film is, but what are some shots or techniques you like?
In 1987, I sat through three hours a day for a fifteen-hour class on Citizen Kane, frame by frame, while Roger Ebert told these incredible stories about the magician behind the film. And how he pulled it off on a low budget. There’s a famous shot in the opera from [Kane’s second wife] singing, seemingly a four-story crane shot, but it’s really not. And then they make his house look gargantuan, but all it is, it’s just a stage, an empty stage with a fireplace. But because of the way it’s lit, you project.
What’s one Welles film that deserves more attention?
Chimes at Midnight is one that people should really rally behind. Everyone should sign a petition to get that rereleased.