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Orson Welles: The Paris Interview (1960)

A vintage interview captures the artist reflecting on Citizen Kane and expounding on directing, acting and writing and his desire to bestow a valuable legacy upon his profession. The scene ... See full summary »

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Bernard Braden ...
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A vintage interview captures the artist reflecting on Citizen Kane and expounding on directing, acting and writing and his desire to bestow a valuable legacy upon his profession. The scene is a hotel room in Paris. The year 1960. The star, Orson Welles. This is a pearl of cinematic memorabilia. Written by G. Forman

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April 2010 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Must See!
18 January 2005 | by (santa barbara, CA) – See all my reviews

This film is rarely screened (I saw it at the Santa Barbara Int'l Film Festival in 2003), but run to see it if you get the chance!

A CBC interviewer caught Welles in his apartment in Paris (?) in 1960, before Welles realized that he was rapidly becoming unemployable in Hollywood. He had not yet descended into the permanent guest role he was forced into in the 60's and 70's doing magic and making small talk on variety and talk shows in America. At this time, he still had options, although they were mostly abroad. The Interviewer asks pertinent questions and listens carefully, allowing Welles to dispense his fascinating discourse without interrupting (like too many of today's interviewers).

Welles is full of surprises. He is still vital, hopeful and energized. He rejects the "genius" label:"I don't regard (Art) as the prime importance in life… or at the expense of any other value in life. Friendship, citizenship, politics are above it…. I do respect those who do…they are the great contributors. I'm certainly not one of them…I'm basically an adventurer..."

He speaks with great admiration and detail of legendary cinematographer Gregg Toland and how he made "Citizen Kane" possible, generously refusing to quash Welles "ignorance" about film making.

Without giving away too many of his brilliant reflections, let me strongly recommend this film to any artist, fan, film buff or thinking person.


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