(Kansas City, Missouri) - Orson Welles claimed to have worked for a short while in Kansas City as a fortuneteller.
Of course, he would make his name as a filmmaker starting with Citizen Kane in 1941. Welles, born 100 years ago this month, went on to accrue 35 big-screen credits as a director and more than 100 as an actor before his death in 1985.
The Library celebrates his genius with screenings of five of his films, beginning with Citizen Kane, on Saturdays in May. The series is curated by John Tibbetts, associate professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas.
Each screening—in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.—begins at 1:30 p.m. The lineup:
• May 2: Citizen Kane (1941; PG)
• May 9: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942; NR)
• May 16: Touch of Evil (1958; PG-13)
• May 23: Chimes at Midnight (1965; NR)
• May 30: F is for Fake (1973; PG)
Admission is free. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.
As for Welles' brief career interlude in Kansas City ...
He discussed his time as a fortuneteller in a 1967 interview with Playboy magazine. It was while he was playing a week's stand in KC in the theater, he said.
"As a part-time magician, I'd met a lot of semi-magician racketeers and learned the tricks of the professional seers," Welles told the magazine. "I took an apartment in a cheap district and put up a sign—$2 READINGS—and every day I went there, put on a turban, and told fortunes."
It ended, he said, when he started believing in his powers of clairvoyance.