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Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

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ChiO
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby ChiO » May 22nd, 2012, 12:31 pm

While looking for other things, I luckily had the opportunity to re-visit the best short piece on Welles that I've ever read.

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.com/?p=23347
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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JackFavell
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby JackFavell » May 30th, 2012, 5:13 pm

I finally had a chance to sit down and read this articulate clarifying article. Thanks for posting it, so much of what I know of Welles seems to be mistaken.

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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby MissGoddess » December 6th, 2012, 7:45 am

A 30 minute clip which provides glimpse of Welles' final but incomplete film, The Other Side of the Wind (the footage of Natalie Wood at the end is unrelated to the film, I believe):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knv1agGrruY[/youtube]
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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ChiO
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby ChiO » March 21st, 2013, 8:45 am

Eight days before his death:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaC3Hp36wXY[/youtube]

A few hours before his death:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZEWy--VsBQ[/youtube]
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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JackFavell
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby JackFavell » March 21st, 2013, 9:27 am

How marvelous it is to go back and listen to him again. Looking back on him now, he seems such a dear man.

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ChiO
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby ChiO » May 31st, 2013, 4:55 pm

From today's Chicago Sun Times:

In his just-published book “The Best Film You’ve Never Seen” (Chicago Review Press), Sun-Times editor Robert K. Elder talks with 35 directors, including Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright and Richard Linklater, about movies that have been lost or overlooked.

In a cover blurb, Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert praised the project, writing: “How necessary this book is! And how well judged and written! Some of the best films ever made, as Elder proves, are lamentably all but unknown.”

In this excerpt, director Henry Jaglom (“Tracks”) champions Orson Welles’ “F for Fake” (1973). Jaglom, Welles’ friend and sometime collaborator, calls this mix of fact and fiction “the most autobiographical” of Welles’ films.

Q. Describe “F for Fake” to someone who has never seen it.

Jaglom: It’s a film about a painter, Elmyr de Hory, who paints copies of the great masters and passes them off as authentic — and about a writer, Clifford Irving, who is doing a book about this painter. Later in life, Irving wrote a book he claimed was the autobiography of Howard Hughes, which in fact was a fake, and he ended up in jail because of it. Ultimately, it is about the creative act and the confession that all creative acts are fraudulent. I think it’s one of the greatest films never seen.

Q. Is it just filmmakers who are liars that tell the truth, or is it that, at some level, all artists feel vaguely fraudulent?

Jaglom: Well, you’re making something up, you’re telling a lie and you’re trying to get the audience to believe it as if it were real.

You remember early in the movie Orson says, “During the next hour, everything you hear from us is really true!” And then he shows his girlfriend, his real-life lover of 25 years, Oja Kodar, having an affair with Picasso. And I was shocked! I didn’t know she had an affair with him .... so it’s a tremendous kind of confession from a magician. Orson loved magic. Magic is fakery.

Q. How did you first see it?

Jaglom: Orson showed it to me, in his house, on the video. I just fell in love with it; I thought it was sensational. Orson considered it his greatest accomplishment, and I said, “Why?”

He said, “Because I found a way to beat the process. I made a film for no money.”

And he thought that everybody was going to acclaim it, and he’d be set for the rest of his life. It never even got distribution. He was more dejected by that than by any of the other things that happened in the other films. He really thought that he created a whole new form. It is the film as the ultimate confessional as he shows us all of these boxes within boxes of people being fakes. It is a confession of a filmmaker who essentially — like all filmmakers, storytellers, and artists — is a fake. It is the most autobiographical of Orson’s films, for me.

Q. Some of the first spoken dialogue is “Why not? I’m a charlatan.” Welles liked to cast himself as a magician — and you cast him as a magician in “Someone to Love.”

Jaglom: He was a magician, and I like using people for the essence of what they are. That’s what he was: He was a fraud. He was a magician who felt like he could no longer do his magic. He felt like he was a failed magician.

Q. Did Orson have a full awareness of that, his public persona?

Jaglom: I would kick Orson under the table at lunch when somebody would come over to the table, and he would do this Orson Welles thing that would scare the [heck] out of them. And I would kick him. He called me his “Jewish conscience.” He would say, “I don’t need my Jewish conscience kicking me under the table.”

He wanted to hide. He didn’t think he was sufficient. That’s why he put on this act that he finally got trapped behind. When you see “Someone to Love,” you see him as he really is, as if you had lunch with him. He was such a sweet and open and unintimidating man.

When he did “Someone to Love,” his final film, I finally got him to take off the mask.

Q. What specific lessons did you learn from “F for Fake”?

Jaglom: It reinforces a great lesson Orson gave to me in my life. As I’m talking to you, it’s over my editing machine. Every day, I come in here to edit my movie, and there it is: “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

He said it to me one day at lunch, and it’s the most valuable thing anybody has ever said to me. It means simply that if you have no limitations, if you have all the money in the world, all the time, you can create a lot of things, but it’s not about art. You can get special effects, you can get great production ... but if you don’t have it, if you’re limited in money or time, you’re forced to be creative, to find a creative solution and an artistic answer to a question. That’s exemplified for me, more than anything, in the great work that is “F for Fake.”

It just reinforced, tremendously, that film is a magic place where you can do anything, and you should not be bound by any rules.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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JackFavell
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby JackFavell » June 1st, 2013, 9:16 am

My god! that's incredible! "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations"... boy I really think that's true. I was just saying this in another thread! But is it also true that complete restriction can also create no art? I'm thinking specifically of Nazi films, or of Stalinist clampdowns on artistic expression. Of course, this plays into Orson's version of what-is-true-and-what-isn't, since one could say that Leni Riefenstahl created artistic films... oh I don't know. :D I need to see F for Fake again, that's for certain. And it also makes me want to watch Someone to Love. Has anyone seen it?

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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby CineMaven » June 1st, 2013, 10:45 am

I could never get through Jaglom's films all the way through. But here's a trailer for "Someone to Love." Welles made me laugh:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002EI ... onvideo-20

"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."

Hmmmmm. Everyone with a videocamera, or a DSLR or an iPHONE or a regular cameraphone now think they are filmmakers. Does "anything goes" create art without rules/regulation/rhyme or reason?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby JackFavell » June 1st, 2013, 11:50 am

That's a great question! Maybe shooting a film with a hand held camera is a limitation but folks don't see it as such, so they just randomly shoot stuff, thinking it's art? It takes a lot of thought and work and most of all creativity to make art, whether it's a phone you are using, or a giant movie camera with lights and a studio. It's the creative process that makes it art, I think. You should know, you are an artist! :D

Then again, maybe art is in the eye of the beholder, not in the eye of the filmmaker. Sheesh, I hate these conundrum-like questions, they hurt my brain. :cry: :cry:

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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby Rita Hayworth » June 1st, 2013, 12:46 pm

ChiO,

Thanks for the two Orson Welles's videos - I just watched them and they are so wonderful and the fact of matter is that he spoke highly of RIta and Marlene ... and I for one appreciate the honesty that he has even his dying days. I just wanted to convey that and I appreciate it very much.

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ChiO
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby ChiO » August 10th, 2013, 7:49 am

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Has there been any better news than the discovery of TOO MUCH JOHNSON, the Pre-CITIZEN KANE film directed by Welles?

Dave Kehr's article in the New York Times is here.

Another article with some video.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby knitwit45 » August 10th, 2013, 7:53 am

ChiO wrote:O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Has there been any better news** than the discovery of TOO MUCH JOHNSON, the Pre-CITIZEN KANE film directed by Welles?

Dave Kehr's article in the New York Times is here.

Another article with some video.


**how about the fact that we're all back,safe and sound, from our perilous journeys without the SSO???? :lol:
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby MissGoddess » August 10th, 2013, 10:07 am

Can't wait to see it! I hope TCM can broadcast it sometime.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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JackFavell
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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby JackFavell » August 10th, 2013, 11:43 am

God, it would be AMAZING if TCM could air this sometime, preferably soon after the Pordenone and Eastman House screenings!

Something I'm only beginning to note in Welles' films - his idea of the past, present and future, all being one, linked together through memory and people themselves. How the past can seem more real than the present, or even more futuristic than now. How the future can seem quaint. A continuum, I guess I would call it. I haven't quite got it worked out in my mind yet as you can tell from my searching around for words. Wasn't it Welles who said that a film is a moment in time captured? So his films seem to me at one and the same time a film about a previous time, and also a slice out of whatever decade the film was made in, and yet somehow, it also telescopes into the future as well in his direct relationship to his audience? Maybe this is all BS, me thinking about it too much.

I am quite curious as to why Welles chose themes from the stories and plays of his boyhood, rather than ultra modern themes to exhibit his ultra modern film-making techniques and world view. His films always seem to capture a feeling for me of looking at the past through the lens of newfangled inventions of the time... for instance, in Ambersons, the moment in history where things changed...i,e: the coming of the future through the automobile - those who embrace it and those unable to stop it from coming, all of it making a commentary on TODAY. Too Much Johnson was a play by William Gillette... and I can easily see Welles as a boy emulating that actor/manager. The images from Too Much Johnson for me capture the feeling of tradition turned on it's ear, the old and the new combined to create some strange hybrid entity.

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Re: Orson Welles: The Eye of a Poet

Postby RedRiver » August 10th, 2013, 4:36 pm

This is exciting. I don't have time to read the link. Is this a full length feature? Where has it been?


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