DVD Review: The Eyes of Orson Welles

There are few, if any, film-makers or cinephiles doing more to promote, enlighten and educate than Mark Cousins. The adopted Northern Irishman was responsible for introducing a whole generation to the delights of outsider cinema in his ‘90s TV series Moviedrome. His documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey re-wrote film history and remains the definitive guide to world cinema. His focus has been on shining a light on the underappreciated and unknown, but in his new film he tackles a master.

The Eyes of Orson Welles trains the camera on one of the greatest visionaries of cinema through his own eyes. After a chance encounter with his daughter, Cousins was granted exclusive access to hundreds of his private drawings and painting. Welles, a highly visual director, used paper and canvas to document his vision. He follows in the great man’s footsteps and he travels around the world, using clips to illustrate how he brought his imagination to life.

Narrated through Cousins’ highly knowledgeable and lilting voice, The Eyes of Orson Welles gently accompanies us on a journey through the mind and eyes of a cinematic great. Charting his life through his illustrations, Cousins deftly demonstrates how his designs were a driving force behind his film-making. The Eyes of Orson Welles is a fascinating insight into the life and work of one of cinema’s most imaginative and prescient mavericks.

The Eyes of Orson Welles is released on DVD by Dogwoof on 17th September and also available on Digital.

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