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We celebrate the release of The Eyes of Orson Welles at Filmhouse with a short season of Orson Welles classics - including Citizen Kane on 35mm and digitally restored editions of The Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil and the rarely-screened The Trial.

Prodigously talented as a boy, his interest in and knowledge of literature, theatre, music and magic went hand-in-hand with his precocious intelligence. By his late teens he had travelled across the Atlantic, toured Ireland and forged a career in the theatre (famously started by talking his way into a production at the Gate Theatre, Dublin), before returning to the United States to become the "boy wonder" of New York's theatrical stage.

Acclaim, controversy and a TIME magazine cover at 23 followed, along with infamous radio productions and an unprecented two-film deal with RKO - leading to the incomparable Citizen Kane. Studio favour would prove short-lived, however (thanks, in part, to William Randolph Hearst), and the meddling money-men would sadly compromise much of Welles' directorial work.

Despite this, his creative vision and immense on-screen talent are still so evident, in his own productions and the films of others. As Jean-Luc Godard put it: "Everyone will always owe him everything".


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