Orson Welles in Italy

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Product Details

Indiana University Press
6.1 X 9.0 X 1.0 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Alberto Anile is an Italian film critic and journalist. He is author of several books and essays about director Roberto Rossellini and comedy actor Totò. His last book (with Maria Gabriella Giannice) concerns Luchino Visconti's The Leopard.

Marcus Perryman is editor and translator (with Peter Robinson) of The Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni.


Anile's Orson Welles in Italy (translated from the Italian original of 2006) takes us back to the invention of Welles' independent methods after the Second World War. Anile's research into contemporaneous Italian sources adds degrees of nuance to a largely mythical period in Welles' career.

--Matthew Asprey Gear "Senses of Cinema"

Orson Welles in Italy recounts, in detail and with great panache, not the beginnings of the myth of the slipping career but its first full development. . .The most interesting aspect of the book perhaps is its account of Welles's critical reputation in Italy, the way he managed to disappoint and annoy authoritative judges on the right and the left, neither side being ready for what were seen as American excesses of visual style. Meanwhile, back home, Welles was increasingly suspected of engaging in un-American activities.

-- "New York Review of Books"

Alberto Anile's Orson Welles In Italy is a key corrective resource for an under-examined portion of Welles's career and life. Anile's extended examination of the disjointed production of Othello alone--Welles's only 'Italian' film--is worth the price, as it relates the frustrating, even maddening chaos in which Welles was obliged to work, and in spite of which he was still able to produce such a fine, inventive film.

-- "PopMatters"

[I]t is remarkable that Alberto Anile has managed to spot a niche that previous biographers have neglected. The gap in the record is the six year period between 1947-53, when Welles was based in Italy It makes for a tale packed with vivid and intriguing vignettesBy focusing exclusively on this interlude in Welles's career, Anile manages to capture something of the essence of his talent and personality--that mix of preternatural genius, wit and narcissistic, self-defeating excess--and something too of the fizzing glamour of film and celebrity industries of post-war Rome...The book is highly entertaining and at times illuminating, expertly translated and introduced by Marcus Perryman.

-- "Times Literary Supplement"

[T]his is a fine work. . . . Highly recommended.

-- "Choice"