By George Stevens Jr.
The 1st publication to collect those interviews of grasp moviemakers from the yank movie Institute’s popular seminars, Conversations with the nice Moviemakers deals an unequalled heritage of yank cinema within the phrases of its maximum practitioners.
Here are the incomparable administrators Frank Capra, Elia Kazan, King Vidor, David Lean, Fritz Lang (“I realized simply from undesirable films”), William Wyler, and George Stevens; popular manufacturers and cinematographers; celebrated screenwriters Ray Bradbury and Ernest Lehman; in addition to the immortal Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini (“Making a film is a mathematical operation. It’s completely most unlikely to improvise”). Taken jointly, those conversations provide uniquely intimate entry to the considering, the knowledge, and the genius of cinema’s such a lot proficient pioneers.
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RKO needed another infusion of creative power to keep it from returning to receivership. Welles’s two-picture contract, signed on July 21, 1939, guaranteed a degree of creative freedom that, while not unprecedented, was highly unusual within the studio system. He beneﬁted from the enlightened patronage of studio president George J. Schaefer. Schaefer, who came from the East Coast distribution side of the business, had been recruited from Paramount by Nelson Rockefeller, a major RKO stockholder, shortly before the War of the Worlds broadcast and had been encouraged “COMMITTING MASTERPIECES” 33 to ﬁnd fresh talent in New York.
He had many fresh ideas about employing a ﬁrst-person approach to the story, inspired by his First Person Singular radio style. He wanted to use a subjective camera with only his offscreen voice playing Marlow, the story’s narrator (Welles was also planning to play the evil embodiment of colonialism, Kurtz). Continuing to pursue antifascist themes, Welles then proposed a comedy-thriller, The Smiler with the Knife, based on the novel by Nicholas Blake (British poet C. Day Lewis) about a couple who discover a secret fascist plot to seize power in England.
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. ” v v v 20 WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ORSON WELLES? Where does that leave Welles’s idiosyncratic body of work, which he found so difﬁcult to place before audiences? To paraphrase Jean Renoir’s Octave in The Rules of the Game, there is one terrible thing about Welles’s career, and it is that every unﬁnished ﬁlm has its reasons.