Orson Welles, even manifested in his protagonist in Citizen Kane, surely must have been a fantastic and often intolerable ass. Seemingly fitted only for a small moment in history, his arrogance, and brilliance, worked vigorously to compensate for his failures. Apart from Citizen Kane topping many lists as the best film ever made, it is strange, or at least anachronistic, to think of Welles as alive and well in the 1970’s and early 80’s, and one can image what he often thought of it all, mixing with the 1980’s like oil in water. Peter Biskind has written My Lunches with Orson, on Welles’ ritual visits with friend and writer-director Henry Jaglom, undoubtedly chock-full of scandalous and outrageous judgements on Welles’ cinema contemporaries. He says of Woody Allen, for example, that he “…has the Chaplin disease. That particular combination of arrogance and timidity sets my teeth on edge.” I suspect I’d agree with that one.
Read here Vanity Fair’s cursory write up of Biskind’s book.
The Washington Post’s Charles Matthews writes a slightly more engaging synopsis.