Richard Linklater Me and Orson Welles Screening

Richard Linklater Screens "Me and Orson Welles"

On Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 8:00PM, Chinati and the Marfa Book Co. invite you to a free screening of Me and Orson Welles, Richard Linklater’s 2009 film about the young Orson Welles. Linklater will be on hand to introduce the movie.

Me and Orson Welles is a fictionalized account (the screenplay is by Holly Gent Palmo and Vince Palmo, from Robert Kaplow’s novel) of Welles’ landmark 1937 staging of Julius Caesar in New York. Welles (played here by the British actor Christian McKay) is twenty-two at this point and coming off the success of his all-black production of Macbeth. (The radio version of War of the Worlds and Citizen Kane are still to come.) A young would-be actor (Zac Efron) joins Welles’ new Mercury Theatre group and is taken under the wing of the great man—a swaggering enfant terrible and theatrical dynamo who everyone in the company (and the theater world at large) regards with a mixture of awe, dread, and loathing.

Linklater’s film has been widely praised and ended up on many best-of-2009 lists. In his New Yorker best-of, David Denby wrote: “Me and Orson Welles: Christian McKay is mesmerizing as the twenty-two-year-old theatrical genius, a vaunting, bombastic son of a bitch who galvanizes the new-born Mercury Theatre company in 1937. Zac Efron is not bad as the cocky kid from New Jersey who bluffs his way into the company. Animated by Richard Linklater’s obvious love of the theatre. Who knew?”

Richard Linklater is the director of many films, including Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused (1993), Before Sunrise (1995), School of Rock (2003), Before Sunset (2004), and A Scanner Darkly (2006). He is based in Austin.