Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Orson Welles. I am an actor. I am a writer. I am a producer. I am a director. I am a magician. I appear onstage and on the radio. Why are there so many of me and so few of you? Ein junger Schauspieler steht im Auditorium Theater in Chicago auf der Bühne. Man kennt ihn noch nicht, er hat Citizen Kane noch nicht gedreht, The War of the Worlds wurde noch nicht gesendet. Wenn nur wenige Leute im Saal sitzen, dann hat das einen Grund. Draußen ist ein Schneesturm. Es wird ihm nicht noch einmal passieren.
Zu seinem sechzigsten Geburtstag veranstaltete das American Film Institute einen Festakt. Jeanne Moreau, die Welles einmal the greatest actress in the world genannt hatte, konnte nicht kommen. Sie schickte aber diese Zeilen:
where are you?
Hunted hunter in your non ending search,
where are you?
How many planes? How many flights?
How many airports? How many cities and countries?
How many hotel suites?
How many stamps on your passports?
How many phone calls?
How many cancelled rendezvous?
You're supposed to be here, but you're already there.
"In the old days when wishing still helped", you
would have owned the world. Now there is no happy
land, no peace, no beauty to be owned, but no one
can be divested of his fantasy.
In 1938 thousands of Americans were panic stricken,
taking the most incredible fantasy, The War Of The Worlds,
for a genuine reportage.
That terror brought fame overnight.
The bad spell had grown.
As soon as he became famous, Orson Welles had to face hostility,
distrust, suspicion, and solitude.
Thomas Wolfe wrote:
"Time passing as men pass who never will come back again...
and leaving us, great God, with only this...
knowing that this earth, this time, this life are stranger than a dream."
Orson Welles always knew that, and naturally,
became a breeder of dreams, a sorcerer of sounds,
a poet, a filmmaker.
When he owns the screen he owns us.
Flowing sequences, close-ups, words, camera movements;
the eye of Orson Welles' camera, looking, staring, gazing, glancing,
creates the magic spell that breaks the bad one.
We watch. We know we won't be misled.
We're engrossed, carried away, and then suddenly
the tale is not a tale,
the fantasy is no make-believe, we are face to face
with the harsh beauty, the sweet cruelty of naked truth.
Castles in Spain are not made of everlasting stones, human faces are scribbled by years obstinately flying away, human love ends with life and even before, faithfulness is as rare as a white fly, self-pity and selfishness populate the earth with the blind; desperation and cruelty abound.
But still we stand the disillusion because Orson Welles exists, searching for truth which is as near as lucid destruction, so to stay faithful to one's self.
A poet helps us to live.
A free man
Orson Welles wurde heute vor hundert Jahren geboren. Eine Literaturempfehlung hätte ich auch: Barbara Leamings Biographie von 1985 ist sehr lesbar. Und ➱Pauline Kaels Citizen Kane Book bleibt ein Klassiker der Filmliteratur.