Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan


Orson Welles: Beyond the Canon and into the Archives

Exhibition Runs April 29 - September 16 
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library
Gallery (Room 100) & Audubon Room 

This student-researched exhibit, a project done in Matthew Solomon's SAC 330 course, marks the centenary of Orson Welles -- one of America's greatest directors of film, theater, radio, and television -- and highlights letters, photographs, scripts, and production materials culled from the University of Michigan's extensive Orson Welles archives. Visitors may begin their exploration of Orson Welles by perusing the library lobby, wherein they will "meet the students" via the reflections they have penned detailing their varied experiences working within the archives; next, visitors enter the exhibition space, wherein they will be taken on a captivating visual and audial journey through the diverse professional achievements of Welles  coupled with the personal life stories that include his relationships with the people most significant to him; finally, visitors enter the gallery space, wherein they will conclude their tour by examining a unique collection of objects from the archives specifically selected by the students to showcase. The exhibition, as a whole, provides insight not often revealed -- and is a must for any Orson Welles fan. 

Wellespring: A Centenary Celebration of the Inexhaustible Inspiration of Orson Welles

Too Much Johnson, a Play Reading with Original Film Footage 

Sunday, June 7
Detroit Film Theater, Detroit Institute of Arts

1:00 p.m.

The recent rediscovery of the film Orson Welles shot in 1938 for his stage production of Too Much Johnson was widely reported -- and generated considerable international enthusiasm. What was lost in the excitement of seeing Welles's "first" professionally produced film seventy-five years later, however, was the fact that this footage did not exactly constitute a film; rather, it was made to serve as a single component of a multimedia theatrical production. This event aims to return a part of this footage to resemble its original context by presenting it as Welles intended it -- as a screened prologue for a stage play accompanied by music. To approximate this experience, the screening of the film footage that Welles himself shot for the prologue will be accompanied by narrated excerpts of the script and the music of U-M alumnus Frank Pahl and the Little Bang Theory -- featuring SAC's Terri Sarris.  Recent SAC alumnus and incoming PhD student Vincent Longo, who "rediscovered" Welles's original script, will be the narrator of the event and provide a brief historical introduction while several SAC students, directed by SAC's Mary Lou Chlipala, will participate in the reading of the script: Anne Marie Barry, Anna Baumgarten, Alexander BernardAva (Emma) Burnham, Avery DiUbaldo, Michael Lopetrone, Nick Sheehan, and Riley Taggart

This event is generously supported by the sponsors of the symposium; please see the full list under the symposium event description.

Wellespring: A Centenary Celebration of the Inexhaustible Inspiration of Orson Welles  -- Screenings 

Sunday, June 7 through Wednesday, June 10
Detroit Film Theater, Detroit Institute of Arts; Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

Times Vary -- Please See Schedule Below 

Screenings are a part of the Cinetopia International Film Festival; tickets are required. For a brief summary of the films listed below, please click here. 

Sunday, June 7: Detroit Film Theater; DIA 

3:45 p.m. -- Chimes at Midnight (a.k.a Falstaff, 1965)

Monday, June 8: Michigan Theater
4:00 p.m. -- The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
7:00 p.m. -- The Unknown Orson Welles, Program 1 (Stefan Droessler, curator, Munich Film Museum, provides a rare opportunity to see excerpts of some of Welles's unfinished films: The Deep, Moby Dick (rehearsed), The Other Side of the Wind, The Dreamers, and The Magic Show
9:40 p.m. -- Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report, 1955)

Tuesday, June 9: Michigan Theater
4:00 p.m. -- Othello (1952)

7:00 p.m. -- The Unknown Orson Welles, Program 2 (a second collection of unfinished or little-known work by Welles along with a presentation by Stefan Droessler, curator of the Munich Film Museum. This collection concentrates on works for television and features: Sketch Book, Fountain of Youth, Viva Italia, and London). 
9:30 p.m. -- Touch of Evil (1958)

Wednesday, June 10: Michigan Theater 

4:00 p.m. -- It's All True (Welles, Wilson, Krohn, Meisel, 1993)
7:00 p.m. -- Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (Chuck Workman, 2014)
9:30 p.m. -- F for Fake (1973) 


The Department of Screen Arts & Cultures, The University of Michigan Library, and the Michigan Theater Present ...

Wellespring: A Centenary Celebration of the Inexhaustible Inspiration of Orson Welles -- Symposium 

Monday, June 8 - Tuesday, June 9
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery (Room 100)
Times Vary -- Please See Schedule Below 

Maverick filmmaker and actor Orson Welles, director of what many consider the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane, is the subject of this symposium in celebration of his centenary. Family members and colleagues, scholars, archivists, and students come together to discuss his lasting impact and showcase the five Welles archive collections housed at U-M Library in Special Collections. All symposium sessions are free and open to the public. 

Monday, June 8
1:00 p.m. --Introductory and Opening Remarks 

Introductory remarks by SAC Associate Professor Matthew Solomon, whose direction of the students in SAC 330 culminated in the Orson Welles: Beyond the Canon and into the Archives exhibit. Opening remarks by Catherine Benamou, Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at University of California, Irvine, who was instrumental in the acquisition of various Welles materials by U-M Library.

1:30 p.m. -- Donors & the Archive: Christopher Wilson
Christopher Wilson, who donated his father's, Richard Wilson's, papers to U-M, will discuss his father's longtime friendship and professional relationship with Welles and his own relationship with his father. SAC alumni A. Brad Schwartz and Vincent Longo will moderate this session. 

3:00 p.m. -- Donors & the Archive: Oja Kodar 
Oja Kodar shares her memories of her life with Orson Welles and the importance of creating an archive dedicated to his work. Eliot Wilhelm, curator of film and video at the Detroit Institute of Arts, will moderate this session. 

4:30 p.m. -- Rededication Ceremony 
A celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Orson Welles-Oja Kodar Collection and the Richard Wilson-Orson Welles Collection.

Tuesday, June 9
10:00 a.m. -- Scholarship & the Archive

This panel, consisting of two generations of scholars, presents work that originated from research done within the various Welles collections at U-M Library. SAC Associate Professor Matthew Solomon will moderate this session. Panelists include Catherine Benamou, associate professor, University of California, Irvine; James Naremore, professor emeritus, Indiana University; A. Brad Schwartz, SAC alumnus, historian, and author; and Vincent Longo, SAC alumnus and incoming PhD student. 

2:30 p.m. -- Legacy & the Archive
This panel discusses how the legacy of Orson Welles has been shaped in various media thirty years after his death. U of M Professor of English Language and Literature Lawrence Goldstein will moderate this session. Panelists include Chuck Workman, filmmaker and director of Magician: The Astonishing LIfe and Work of Orson Welles; Jonathan Rosenblum, critic emeritus from Chicago Reader and author of Discovering Orson Welles; Stefan Droessler, curator of the Munich Film Museum; Sidney Gottlieb, professor, Sacred Heart University; Filip Jan Rymsza, producer, restoration of The Other Side of the Wind; and Issa Clubb (via Skype), producer, Criterion Collection.

Thank you to the following groups for your generous support of this event: the SAC Screenwriting Program, the College of LS&A, the Department of American Culture, the American Music Institute, School of Music, Theater & Dance, the Institute for the Humanities, Rackham Graduate School, the University of Michigan Office of Research, and the Dept. of English Language and Literature.

SAC Alumnus, Historian, and Author A. Brad Schwartz Publishes Broadcast Hysteria and Participates in Upcoming "Scholarship & the Archive" Panel in Wellespring Symposium

In Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News, (published on May 5, 2015 by Hill and Wang), A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind Welles's famed radio play and its impact, posing the question, "Did it really spawn a 'wave of mass hysteria' as the New York Times reported?" Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent to Orson Welles himself in the days after the broadcast -- an investigation he began in the University of Michigan Special Collections Library for his honors thesis in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures -- and his findings challenged conventional wisdom. Few listeners believed an attack was under way; but even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast became a major scandal, prompting a different kind of mass panic as Americans debated the bewitching power of radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. When the debate was over, American broadcasting had changed for good -- but not for the better. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis make Broadcast Hysteria a groundbreaking new look at a crucial but little-understood episode in American history; they also make us examine the present day popularity of "fake news" and the role of mass media in our lives. 

Watch the video wherein Schwartz illuminates his investigative process here: 

Read the complete summary and reviews of the book here
Read the recent article published in Vanity Fair here

Photo Credit, Mary Lou Chlipala 

Under the direction of Mary Lou Chlipala, Vince Longo, Anna Baumgarten, Riley Taggart, Avery DiUbaldo, Nick Sheehan, and Alexander Bernard rehearse for their Too Much Johnson staged reading at the DIA Film Theater this Sunday, June 7.



DHC's Phil Hallman Quoted in The New York TimesThe GuardianEl Pais, and Featured in The University Record  Upon Receipt of New Welles Archival Acquisition


Since the arrival of this new acquisition -- eight boxes of materials recently received from Welles's longtime companion Oja Kodar who shipped them from her home in Croatia in May -- over 675 mentions of it in over 35 countries have appeared in various media sources. As ar
chivists at the U-M Special Collections Library have started to process the materials, they have found an unfinished memoir, entitled Confessions of a One-Man Band -- a work that offers insight into why Welles failed to complete a number of film projects. It also details his relationship with Ernest Hemingway, second wife Rita Hayworth, and film-maker D.W. Griffith.  Phil Hallman comments on the collection: "If you think of it as a puzzle, this is another important piece that brings us closer to being able to see the big picture. Having an opportunity to look at [Welles] as a father, as a husband, as a friend -- you get to see what was happening behind the scenes, including the struggles and the missed opportunities and the agony that he was experiencing." Kathleen Dow, head archivist of the special collections library, says she suspects the collection will take five months to process before it becomes available to the public. 

Read the full Guardian article here

Read the full New York Times article here

See The University Record video featuring Phil Hallman here


SAC Alumnus Vincent Longo Presents on a Panel Entitled "Welles: New Approaches" at Indiana University 

On Friday, May 1st, Vincent Longo presented his work "Around the World: 'Aesthetic Limbo' and The Theater Film Hybrid" at the Orson Welles: A Centennial Celebration and Symposium at Indiana University.  For the Wellespring Symposium here at UM, he is moderating the Donors & the Archive: Christopher Wilson panel with SAC alumnus A. Brad Schwartz; he is also participating in the Scholarship & the Archive panel. Please see the news feature on the symposium for more details on panelists, dates, and times. 

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