Director Mark Cousins (The Story of Film) was granted exclusive access to hundreds of private drawings and paintings by Orson Welles. The film icon drew what struck him on his travels, and produced caricatures, sketches for his films, drawings for people he loved, and countless Christmas greetings. Together they form a sketchbook of his life, and at the same time they illustrate his creativity and visual thinking. Because Cousins has had some of the drawings animated, we seem to be watching Welles’s drawing in action.
Although Cousins claims to be viewing the world through Welles’s eyes, it is primarily Cousins himself who endows meaning, interprets and makes connections. His approach is unconventional: an essay in the form of a letter addressed to Welles. Through his own strongly colored lens, Cousins reveals Welles’s work, private life and inner world in close-up. He also attempts to place Welles in a modern perspective, wondering what he would have thought of a president who thinks he is Charles Foster Kane.