At the End of the Street in the Shadow

At the End of the Street in the Shadow : Orson Welles and the City

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The films of Orson Welles inhabit the spaces of cities-from America's industrializing midland to its noirish borderlands, from Europe's medieval fortresses to its Kafkaesque labyrinths and postwar rubblescapes. His movies take us through dark streets to confront nightmarish struggles for power, the carnivalesque and bizarre, and the shadows and light of human character. This ambitious new study explores Welles's vision of cities by following recurring themes across his work, including urban transformation, race relations and fascism, the utopian promise of cosmopolitanism, and romantic nostalgia for archaic forms of urban culture. It focuses on the personal and political foundation of Welles's cinematic cities-the way he invents urban spaces on film to serve his dramatic, thematic, and ideological purposes. The book's critical scope draws on extensive research in international archives and builds on the work of previous scholars. Viewing Welles as a radical filmmaker whose innovative methods were only occasionally compatible with the commercial film industry, this volume examines the filmmaker's original vision for butchered films, such as The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and Mr.
Arkadin (1955), and considers many projects the filmmaker never completed-an immense "shadow oeuvre" ranging from unfinished and unreleased films to unrealized treatments and screenplays.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 20.32mm | 544.31g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0231173415
  • 9780231173414
  • 1,402,864

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction Prelude. A Nuisance in a Factory: Hollywood: 1939-48, 1956-58 Welles's U.S.A 1. The Decline and Fall of the Lincoln Republic 2. An Empire Upon an Empire: Citizen Kane (1941) 3. The Darkening Midland: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) Pan-America 4. Darkness and Fear: The Early Anti-fascist Thrillers 5. The Raucous Raggle-Taggle Jamboree of the Streets: It's All True (unfinished, 1942) 6. Ratline to Main Street: The Stranger (1946) 7. Port to Port: The Lady from Shanghai (1947) 8. The Border: Touch of Evil (1958) 9. Return to the Periphery: The Other Man (unproduced, 1977) Interlude. A Free Man Is Everywhere: Europe & Beyond: 1947-55, 1958-85 Postwar Europe 10. Skies and Rubblescape: Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report (1955) 11. Lost in a Labyrinth: The Trial (1962) Immortal Stories 12. To Adore the Impossible 13. In the Land of Don Quixote Index
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Review quote

An impressive work of archival research and film analysis... A valuable contribution to the scholarly literature on cinematic places. Mediapolis Asprey Gear's At the End of the Street in the Shadow: Orson Welles and the City has much to offer anyone interested in the numerous projects brought into being by Welles. afterimage
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About Matthew Asprey Gear

Matthew Asprey Gear is an honorary academic at Macquarie University, Sydney. He has lectured in film studies and screenwriting and is the founding coeditor of Contrappasso magazine. Visit
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