Saturday, June 24, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Orson Welles (1915 – 1985)


Writer, actor and film director.
Orson Welles
As for my style, for my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect; it's the aspect.
Welles quotes
I spend... twenty times more for you people than any other commercial I've ever made. You are such pests! Now what is it you want? In your... depths of your ignorance, what is it you want? Whatever it is you want, I can't deliver, 'cause I just don't see it.
Welles
He [Welles] was an onlooker at the clumsy, poignant suicide of "The Man on the Ledge," which took place in New York in 1938, when a boy perched for fourteen hours on a window-sill of the Gotham Hotel before plunging into the street. "I stood in the crowd outside for a long time," Welles says pensively, "and wanted to make a film of it all. But they tell me that in the Hollywood version of the film they gave the boy a reason for what he did. That's crazy. It's the crowd that needs explaining."




Welles Orson quotes
Orson’s lifelong attraction to the art that has as its very essence the blurring of the line between reality and illusion was another piece of this same puzzle: Nothing gave him as much consistent pleasure as teasing audiences, and himself, with the many masks of magic.
Welles Orson
I don't regard my career as something so precious that it comes before my convictions.
Orson Welles quotes
I think I made, essentially, a mistake, staying in movies. But it’s a mistake I can’t regret, because it’s like saying, ‘I shouldn’t have stayed married to that woman, but I did because I love her. I would’ve been more successful if I hadn’t been married to her…’ You know?
Orson Welles
A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys. Anybody can make movies with a pair of scissors and a two-inch lens.
Welles Orson quotes
Even if I’d stayed [in the US to finish ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’] I would’ve had to make compromises on the editing, but these would’ve been mine and not the fruit of confused and often semi-hysterical committees. If I had been there myself I would have found my own solutions and saved the pictures in a form which would have carried the stamp of my own effort.
Welles
My father once told me that the art of receiving a compliment is, of all things, the sign of a civilized man. He died soon afterwards, leaving my education in this important matter sadly incomplete; I'm only glad that, on this, the occasion of the rarest compliment he ever could have dreamed of, that he isn't here to see his son so publicly at a loss. In receiving a compliment, or in trying to, the words are all worn out by now. They're polluted by ham and corn. And, when you try to scratch around for some new ones, it's just an exercise in empty cleverness. What I feel this evening, is not very clever. it's the very opposite of emptiness. The corny old phrase is the only one I know to say it: my heart is full; with a full heart, with all of it, I thank you. This is Samuel Johnson, on the subject of what he calls contrarieties: "there are goods, so opposed that we cannot seize both, and, in trying, fail to seize either. Flatter not yourself, he says, with contrarieties. Of the blessings set before you, make your choice. No man can, at the same time, fill his cup from the source, and from the mouth of the nile." For this business of contrarieties has to do with us. With you, who are paying me this compliment, and for me, who has strayed so far from this hometown of ours. Not that I am alone in this, or unique, I am never that; but there are a few of us left in this conglomerated world of us who still trudge stubbornly along this lonely rocky road; and this is in fact our contrariety. We don't move nearly as fast as our cousins on the freeway; we don't even get as much accomplished just as the family sized farm can't possibly raise as many crops or get as much profit as the agricultural factory of today. What we do come up with has no special right to call itself better it's just.. different. No if there's any excuse for us it all, it's that we're simply following the old American tradition of the maverick, and we are a vanishing breed. This honor I can only accept in the name of all the mavericks. And also, as a tribute to the generosity of all the rest of you; to the givers, to the ones with fixed addresses. A maverick may go his own way but he doesn't think that it's the only way, or ever claim that it's the best one, except maybe for himself. And don't imagine that this raggle-taggle gypsy-o is claiming to be free. It's just that some of the necessities to which I am a slave are different from yours. As a director, for instance, I pay myself out of my acting jobs. I use my own work to subsidize my work (in other words I'm crazy). But not crazy enough to pretend to be free. But it's a fact that many of the films you've seen tonight could never have been made otherwise. Or, if otherwise, well, they might have been better, but certainly they wouldn't have been mine. The truth is I don't believe that this great evening would ever have brightened my life if it wasn't for this: my own, particular, contrariety. Let us raise our cups, then, standing as some of us do on opposite ends of the river, to what really matters to us all: to our crazy, beloved profession, to the movies — to good movies, to every possible kind.
Welles Orson
But you can't emphasize "beef", that's like his wanting me to emphasize "in" before "July"! Come on, fellows, you're losing your heads! I wouldn't direct any living actor like this in Shakespeare! The way you do this, it's impossible!
Orson Welles
It isn't worth it. No money is worth this... [walks out]




Orson Welles quotes
It's about two percent movie-making and ninety-eight percent hustling. It's no way to spend a life.
Orson Welles
The people who’ve done well within the [Hollywood] system are the people whose instincts, whose desires [are in natural alignement with those of the producers] — who want to make the kind of movies that producers want to produce. People who don’t succeed — people who’ve had long, bad times; like [Jean] Renoir, for example, who I think was the best director, ever — are the people who didn’t want to make the kind of pictures that producers want to make. Producers didn’t want to make a Renoir picture, even if it was a success.
Welles quotes
The right reading for this is the one I'm giving.
Welles Orson
That doesn't make any sense. Sorry. There's no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with "in" and emphasize it. Get me a jury and show me how you can say "In July" and I'll go down on you. That's just idiotic, if you'll forgive me by saying so. That's just stupid... "In July"; I'd love to know how you emphasize "In" in "In July". Impossible! Meaningless!
Welles Orson quotes
This theatre is your theatre. You are responsible for its creation and its progress.
Orson Welles
There, but for the grace of God, goes God.
Orson Welles quotes
Those of us who were close to Orson had long been aware of the obsessive part his father used to play in his life. Much of what he had accomplished so precociously had been done out of a furious need to prove himself in the eys of a man who was no longer there to see it. Now that success had come, in quantities and of a kind that his father had never dreamed of, this conflict, far from being assuaged, seemed to grow more intense and consuming.
Orson Welles
"We know a little place in the American Far West, where Charlie Briggs chops up the finest prairie-fed beef and tastes..." (pauses, and continues with a note of disgust in his voice) This is a lot of shit, you know that! You want one more? One more on the beef?
Welles Orson
To me, Orson is so much like a destitute king. A ‘destitute’ king, not because he was thrown away from the kingdom, but [because] on this earth, the way the world is, there is no kingdom good enough for Orson Welles.


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