Arts and Entertainment

Viennese noir... with red tinges

Joey Heller's happy ending: Joseph Heller's new novel is the long-awaited sequel to Catch-22. It is also a summing-up: a valedictory meditation on the approaching end - of his life, of his life's work, and of the 20th century and its values. Yet these morbid reflections have left him curiously cheerful

THERE ARE two really terrible things that can happen to a novelist. The first is never to write a really great book. The other is to write one. The second option is infinitely preferable to the first - in terms of adoration, recognition, ego and income - but it carries its own set of perils. Readers and critics measure each subsequent volume against the perceived masterpiece. And, faced with the challenger, they will tend to find it lacking: their love for the cherished earlier text makes them like the bereaved who lament that no one can replace the departed.

Edinburgh Festival / Day 8: 'What he wrote is what I feel': it looks like casting from hell: Eartha Kitt as Joyce's Molly Bloom. But it might just result in the cult hit of the festival

A packed theatre, Morningside, Edinburgh. The singer Eartha Kitt fixes the audience with a hot stare and draws up her skirts to reveal a willowy leg. Then she sighs, tosses her head and spits out a line in a grating vibrato: 'I wouldn't mind giving something to His Highness the Pope for a penance or two. I wonder if he was satisfied with my confession.'

FILM / Director's Cuts: A twist of pure Lime: Steven Soderbergh on the Ferris wheel scene in Carol Reed's The Third Man: 'a masterpiece of subtext'

The Third Man is a great film and, as much as I love the sewer sequence at the end, the scene where Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles meet on a Ferris wheel is simply astonishing, not necessarily for the way it was shot, but for the ideas involved and the relationship between the two characters.

Travel: The Location Hunters: A Third Man came forth: From the sewers to the big wheel, post-war Vienna lives on with Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Frank Barrett

A gardener in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna's huge Central Cemetery, found me sheltering beneath a tree and assumed that I was lost. I had ducked out of the cold, drenching rain to peel apart the soaked pages of a book. The gardener touched my shoulder: 'Beethoven . . . Schubert . . . Brahms . . .' There - that way] In an eloquent gesture that needed no translation, he thrust out a damp arm and pointed the way I should go.

FILM / A lifetime tilting at windmills: Two 'lost' Orson Welles films had premieres last weekend. Quentin Curtis saw them

THE TEARS shed at the death of Orson Welles were as much for the lost films as the lost film-maker. Welles, who described cinema as a 'ribbon of dreams', died with a tangle of films dreamt but unmade. Still more tantalising are the films abandoned, mangled, stolen, or lost: 45 minutes of The Magnificent Ambersons; his last film, The Other Side of the Wind, now locked up in Iran. The master magician's work did its own disappearing act: now and then you saw it, but usually you didn't.

FILM / Director's cut: A legend in his own breakfast-time: Taylor Hackford, director of An Officer and a Gentleman, on the revealing breakfast scene between Orson Welles and Ruth Warrwick in Citizen Kane

I first saw Citizen Kane when I was growing up in California. On Channel 9 there was this slot called 'The Million Dollar Movie' - it was just shown like any other TV movie. I didn't understand the brilliance of it until I became a film-maker.

BOOK REVIEW / The camera obscurer: Robinson - by Christopher Petit, Cape pounds 8.99

'I AM a camera.' Isherwood's catchy opening has a lot to answer for: encouraged by it, generations of writers have told stories with deadpan amorality. The line must have been haunting Christopher Petit when he wrote this novel. He is, after all, a film-maker.

Letter: Telling it like it is

Sir: Your television reviewer John Moore says ('The teak tycoon', 27 May) that Citizen Kane would have been proud of a scene in Tom Bower's film (Inside Story: Tiny Rowland) where an editor (me) is shown ringing his proprietor (Tiny Rowland) to tell him what line the newspaper will be taking at a coming general election.

BOOK REVIEW / Wit and vitriol after dinner: This is Orson Welles by Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich - HarperCollins pounds 20

THE older people in the room always sighed when the Orson Welles sherry ads came on. Here was talent destroyed, a career on the schuss. They blamed Welles's temperament, and they blamed Hollywood's myopia and greed, but still they couldn't understand how the man who made Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil and The Magnificent Ambersons didn't make another studio picture in the last three decades of his life.

FILM / Mr Roberts goes to Washington: With the release of Bob Roberts, Tim Robbins is being compared to the young Orson Welles. Sheila Johnston met him

This was the year that Tim Robbins stormed the twin citadels of the American Establishment: Hollywood, in Robert Altman's The Player, in which he played the amoral studio executive Griffin Mill; and Washington, in his own satirical film, Bob Roberts, about a (fictional) folk-singer turned New Right senatorial candidate. The concept started life in 1985 as a skit for Saturday Night Live (a parentage it shares with Wayne's World). But where the character then was loud-suited and slightly portly, he seems in the film to have gotten himself a good team of image consultants and gone on a fitness jag - now he's hip, younger-looking, slim, oleaginous, late-Eighties vintage.

FILM / Entree des enfants terribles: They order things differently in France. Adrian Dannatt reports on the rapid turnover among young directors across the Channel

English cinephiles perusing the biographies of current French directors often assume there must have been a mass typographical error - all the given ages seem to have been reversed. The latest feature film was apparently made by someone aged 24 rather than 42. The excessive youth of the Gallic film profession makes Orson Welles's debut at 25 seem merely pedestrian rather than precocious. Few of these youthful movies are of the quality of Citizen Kane, of course, but then so little ever is.
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