Simon Callow

'Magician' serves up many tidbits about Orson Welles

'Magician' serves up many tidbits about Orson Welles

No single feature-length documentary on the director of "Citizen Kane" is ever going to fully portray the scope of Orson Welles' triumphs, deflations and career eccentricities. Even Welles biographer Simon Callow is taking three volumes with it.

But Chuck Workman's documentary "Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles" feels almost willfully highlight-intensive, an archival/editing dare for this clip-assembly master to touch on as many elements as possible, as quickly as possible.

Entertaining though it often is, zipping from Welles' boy-wonder days in stage and radio (Mercury Theatre, "The War of the Worlds") to the notorious 1940s...

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