‘The Eyes of Orson Welles’ Review: An Idiosyncratic Look at an Enigmatic Master

The American writer Robert Warshow famously said that movie critics were obligated to convey their “immediate experience” of a picture. The documentarian Mark Cousins clearly feels similarly. Cousins, whose best known work is the 15-hour television documentary “The Story of Film: An Odyssey,” can be seen as the anti-Ken Burns. While Burns’s explorations of history and culture aspire to standards of objectivity, Cousins is unabashedly, unapologetically personal.

Cousins’s new film, “The Eyes of Orson Welles,” takes his own approach to a new level. The narration is framed as a letter from Cousins to Welles. Cousins opens with shots of today’s Times Square while observing that “the despots you were fascinated by are…

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