Friday night went to see Simon Callow give a splendid actorly talk on the second volume, "Hello Americans", of his three part Orson Welles biography. This review gives a flavour of the book and Callow's talk:
Hello Americans picks up the 26-year-old Welles in 1941. Covering six extraordinary years, it addresses 'the most persistent question asked about Orson Welles: what went wrong after Citizen Kane?' There is no simple answer. From the start, Callow dismisses as glib and untrue two frequently advanced explanations. The first is that Welles was self-destructive, the second that he was the victim of a conspiracy on the part of unimaginative, envious and vindictive studio heads and their contacts in the press.The question everyone asks, "how did Orson Welles get so fat", got the answer "volume three".