Orson Welles thankfully didn’t live to see a world in which conversation around his work has devolved into Tomatometer-related banter, but as an extensive search gets underway for one of the most prized, long-lost possessions of his oeuvre, hopefully we’ll emerge from this critical nadir. In the meantime, a timely documentary narrated by the Citizen Kane diretor has been restored and is arriving next month, on May 21, for the 40th anniversary of its U.S. premiere.
Wieland Schulz-Keil’s New Deal for Artists, digitally remastered from the 16mm negative, explores the history behind a section of FDR’s New Deal Program that provided economic relief and jobs for artists following the Great Depression. The most ambitious government-supported arts program since the Italian Renaissance as it resulted in providing work for over 10,000 artists, the program was soon targeted by Republicans’ aggressive anti-communist agendas as the House Un-American Activities Committee came to fruition.
As the present-day art world, and especially the film exhibition industry, pleads for support following the devastating pandemic, New Deal for Artists looks to present a vital message decades after its initial release. Featuring Studs Terkel, John Houseman, Arthur Rothstein, Howard Da Silva, James Brooks, Nelson Algren, and more, watch the exclusive trailer below, courtesy of Corinth Films.
New Deal for Artists opens on May 21 in Virtual Cinemas,