SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS ORSON WELLES

HOLLYWOOD – Survivor from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Sir Edwin Fluffer, reflects on the man Hollywood used to call ‘the intellectual’s Fatty Artbuckle’: Orson Welles.

Returning home from a weekend’s scuba diving with dear old Charles Laughton, I was overjoyed to find a new script waiting for me on the doormat.  Actors can be superstitious old buggers at times, and I’m afraid that I’m just as bad as the rest of them.  Gary Cooper would always insist on doing his initial read through standing on one leg. We used to call him The Stork, until a nasty fall meant he had to have a hip replaced.
 
The first thing that I do when presented with any screenplay is to have a good look at the title:  always have done and always will do! The title will often give you invaluable clues as to what the picture is actually called, and it’s not at all unusual for the name of the film and what it’s called to be exactly the same.  The next thing I do is look to see if Anne Baxter’s in it, and if she is I throw it in the bin! Better to be safe than sorry! After that I may pop out for a quick drink, and the next time I look at the script isn’t until the first day of shooting. Spencer Tracy would spend literally minutes going over his lines, and I personally believe this robbed his performances of all their spontaneity. 
 
The majority of actors, directors, producers and crews I’ve worked with don’t really agree with me on this point, but like I always tell them, you can’t rush perfection. Anyway, this particular script actually looked quite promising. It was called Citizen Kane which I thought was a great title and Anne Baxter wasn’t in it, so that was a bonus! Unfortunately the weekend scuba diving had left me with a nasty case of the bends so I had to pass, and as far as I know the picture never got made.  It was a terrible shame as I’d been led to believe that in one scene Agnes Moorhead would do a dance number with some of the Smurfs, but that’s another story…

For more Fluffer please be so good as to CLICK HERE.

GEORGE LUCAS ANNOUNCES CITIZEN KANE 2

HOLLYWOOD – George Lucas today revealed that Citizen Kane 2 will be the first feature to be produced by his new project, In Space Productions.

Word has been flying around the industry for years that Lucas had been rabidly buying up film rights, with Adam Sandler’s back catalogue alone rumoured to have cost him in the region of $100 million dollars.

In Space have also signed a veritable who’s who of directors to helm their upcoming pictures with the likes of; Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Michael Haneke and Woody Allen officially confirmed.

We spoke to George earlier today and asked him what we can expect from his new venture.

 

George, what can expect from this new venture?

Basically, In Space will remake old movies and set them in a different environment.

 

Such as?

Well, space, predominantly.

I see. So what inspired you to take this bold new direction?

I figured the Star Wars films are popular and they are set in space so it was kind of a no-brainer.

 

Interesting. I assume you have a list of films you plan to make over the coming years. Can you reveal what some of those titles are?

Sure. First up will be Citizen Kane in Space. Bruce Willis will play Kane, I’ll direct. Next up we have The Godfather in Space which is Coppola’s baby. We’re considering a CGI Marlon Brando in that but we need to get the go ahead from his estate. What else…Alexander Payne is doing the Wedding Singer in Space, Haneke Irreversible in Space and Woody is keen on remaking Annie Hall in Space.

 

Annie Hall in Space?

Yeah Woody has got this great idea. He’ll play a neurotic jewish astronaut and Diane Keaton will be his kooky robot love interest.

 

Amazing stuff. What else have you got lined up?

Well I’ve been talking to Judd Apatow about doing Dirty Dancing in Space and Hugh Jackman is working with a few writers to try and get a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in Space off the ground. It’s early days though, and we’ve had so many people who have contacted us with ideas. It’s a matter of sifting through them and deciding what will work.

 

What about your old buddy Steven Spielberg. Will he be involved in some capacity?

I doubt it. I approached Steve and asked him if he’d be interested in making a Schindler’s List in Space but he got all offended and said it was morally wrong. Hopefully he’ll come around though as we recently received a great script for The Color Purple in Space which I ‘d love him to direct.

 

Exciting times George. Many Thanks

No problem.

 

Citizen Kane in Space’ is due for release in 2017

HIDDEN GEMS: 1. CITIZEN KANE

The first in a news series bringing to light little known filmic gems and rarities that have somehow managed to slip through the collective cinematic consciousness. You’re welcome. 

1. Citizen Kane
 
Made in 1941, this ‘black and white’ film (as they were known) was the cinematic debut of renowned radio actor Orson Welles.
Although largely forgotten today, Orson Welles was quite the celebrity in his time, not only for his many talents as an actor and director, but also for his uncanny ability of eating all the pies and leaving nothing for his then wife Rita Hayworth.
The film sketches a posthumous portrait [SPOILER ALERT for that] of a Rupert Murdoch like media mogul – based apparently on someone called Hearst – whose rise to power leads to loneliness, obesity and morbid nostalgia. Now this might not sound appealing, but don’t worry, it really is worth a watch.
Why? Well, for one thing it’s told in a jigsaw mess of contradictory narrators as an anonymous reporter seeks the meaning of Kane’s last word ‘Rosebud’. With cameraman Greg Toland, Welles experimented with a whole series of tricks and even today the film looks fresh and original, even though it is undeniably in Black and White.
It might be difficult to get a copy, but if you ever have the chance of seeing it, don’t listen to the naysayers of the lame-stream critical community, give it a chance and you shall be rewarded.

ORSON WELLES ‘NOT ACTUALLY FAT’ ACCORDING TO NEW BOOK

PARIS – According to a new book published in Paris today by noted film critic Xavier Poulis, film director and bon vivant Orson Welles was ‘not actually fat’.

The film critic and Welles expert said that everyone believes Orson Welles gained a lot of weight in his later years, but in reality he always maintained a perfectly respectable 170 pounds. Poulis writes in his introduction:

The legend of Orson Welles’ obesity came about during the filming of Citizen Kane, his first and perhaps most famous film. Welles loved playing the older Charles Foster Kane and made it his habit to go to the commissary dressed in costume and full make up, including the extra padding to make him look portly. It was hilarious and throughout the years Welles continued the practice. He played a large number of fat men and so there was always the opportunity to play tricks on the press. While filming both Chimes at Midnight and Touch of Evil, Welles got so into the habit of going out to restaurants in costume that on the few occasions he went out as himself nobody recognized him and he dreaded not being recognized.

Studio Exec contributor and Welles confidant, Sir Edwin Fluffer confirmed the truth:

Orson did enjoy eating, but he had such a zippy metabolism that no sooner had he wolfed down one five courser than he was all set for the next and never looked the worse for it. The fat suit was just a jape but it also protected him from some of the bitchier elements of this old town we love so. If some of the actors who had seen him with the feed bag on had also seen the slender Welles who I played tennis with on Wednesday they would have cut him dead out of pure jealousy and spite. Towards the end of life poor Twiggy – as his closest friends called him – felt he was possessed by the fat suit that now he had to wear almost twelve hours out of every twenty four. It is a sorrowful irony that the poor man died in the fat suit and not knowing any better the funeral people buried him in it as well.

Orson Welles: The Man, The Artist, The Waistline by Xavier Poulis is available on Amazon and from all good bookstores.

ROSEBUD SOLD FOR $25M

NEW YORK – Lot 315/b is perhaps one of the famous props in Hollywood history: the sled that provides the McGuffin for the Orson Welles masterpiece Citizen Kane [SPOILER].

And this afternoon at Sotheby’s in New York it was sold at auction for the some of $25 million to an unknown buyer who many believe to be Jean Claude Van Damme, a famous Kane-head as fans of the black and white media mogul biopic like to call themselves. 

Lot 315/b

Of course anyone familiar with the film will remember that the sled was actually thrown into a furnace at the end of the film, but a pile of ash was verified through spectroscopic analysis to be the remains of the prop as was a small bottle of smoke, collected from the chimney. 

Film historian Mark Cousins said that the sale in classic film props had become out of control. Last year, Marlon Brando’s orange peel monster teeth were sold for $12 million despite being icky.

Citzen Kane will be released in 2015.

REMAKE WATCH: CITIZEN KANE














HOLLYWOOD – Today it was announced that Baz Luhrmann is set to direct a remake of Orson Welles’ classic Citizen Kane. The Aussie director is said to be looking forward to the challenge.

Finally, I get to sort this mess of a film out now I’ve finished fixing Gatsby. First of all, the problem with Citizen Kane is that it’s boring. It’s in black and white and the soundtrack stinks. But I can sort that all out, I’ll get my mates Jay-Z and Will.I.Am to do the music. we’ll shoot in 3D, and in color for Christ’s sake. I had similar problems with The Great Gatsby, it was all just words and characters and shit, so I just focused on the partying for the movie version and I think it’s better for it.

Luhrmann will also be changing Charles Foster Kane from a newspaper publisher to a more contemporary businessman. Will Smith will play the character in this update, as a multimillionaire record producer who throws parties every weekend, with son Jaden playing him as a boy. Jada Pinkett Smith will play both Kane’s first wife, Emily, and long-suffering second wife, Susan. Tobey Maguire has signed up to play the role of Jedediah Leland, the best friend of Charles Foster Kane and co-producer at Rosebud Records.

Will Smith told the Studio Exec’s Hank Eisenstein why he decided to take on this project.

I don’t think the public are aware of this as I keep this close to my chest, but it makes me truly happy when it’s not just me in the family earning the dough, so I like to get jobs for my wife and kids. Baz’s ideas for this film are just crazy, and I mean in a Wild Wild West and After Earth kinda crazy, in the fact that nobody expected these films to get made, but I’m like, challenge accepted. Unfortunately, Willow can’t be involved in the project as I have her recording three albums and writing a script for the I Robot musical I’m planning.


Citizen Kane 3D will premiere in Cannes in 2015

SIGHT AND SOUND POLL: ERRATA

LONDON – The Sight and Sound top 100 poll is (as you will all know) a way for top film critics from all over the world to pretend they like Citizen Kane once every ten years. In a revolutionary upset this year, on the 1st of August, it was announced that critics would be pretending to like Vertigo – not Psycho or The Birds but Vertigo and no longer Citizen Kane – for ten years. However, in an unprecedented upset, the British Film Institute today has published a set of errata which radically alter the composition of the list and will undoubtedly cause open handed slap fights in cinema lobbies up and and down the world.

The errata reads so:

During the compilation of the original list over 800 critics, programmers and directors were asked for their preferences. However, due to myopia and some out and out snobbery the final list that was published contained some serious errors, and errors is a generous interpretation of the facts. Please adjust the published list in the following way: 

  • In the first place where the list reads: ‘Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchock (1958) with 191 votes’ it should instead read ‘Maid in Manhattan directed by Wayne Wang with 231 votes’. 
  • In the second place where the list reads: ‘Citizen Kane directed by Orson Welles (1941) with 147 votes’ should instead read ‘We Bought a Zoo directed by Cameron Crowe (2011) with 230 votes’.
  • Other changes include Tokyo Story (3rd place) which has been overtaken by the Italian sex comedy A Policewoman on the Porno Squad (1979) directed by Michele Trantini; La Règle du Jeu (4th position) has been overtaken by Cannonball Run II (1984).

The rest of the list remains pretty much unaltered although The Human Centipede makes a surprise entry (no pun intended but gladly received) at 45 ousting Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up, which even the director called ‘dull’. Nick James the editor of Sight and Sound is climbing an unnamed Scottish mountain and so is unavailable for comment.