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Quotes / Orson Welles

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"We invite you to luxuriate in secrecy. It will be brief. Go on, suckle your anonymous moment while it lasts. You’re going to be uncovered. We will blast out your name, your so-called Christian name. We will give the world your given name, Officer X. If he’s listening to this, let him listen well: Officer X, after I have found you out, I’ll never lose you. If they try you, I’m going to watch the trial. If they jail you, I’m going to wait for your first day of freedom. You won’t be free of me. I want to see who’s waiting for you at the prison gates. I want to know who will acknowledge that they know you. I’m interested in your future. I will take note of all your destinations. Assume another name and I will be careful that the name you would forget is not forgotten. I will find means to remove from you all refuge, Officer X. You can’t get rid of me. We have an appointment, you and I – and only death can cancel it."
Orson Welles addressing on radio the racist cop who blinded Isaac Woodard.

"In theatre, you know, the old star actors never liked to come on until the end of the first act. Mister Wu is a classic example—I've played it once myself. All the other actors boil around the stage for about an hour shrieking, 'What will happen when Mr. Wu arrives?,' 'What is he like, this Mr. Wu?,' and so on. Finally a great gong is beaten and slowly, over a Chinese bridge, comes Mr. Wu himself in full mandarin robes. Peach Blossom, or whatever her name is, falls on her face and a lot of coolies yell, 'Mister Wu!!!' The curtain comes down, the audience goes wild, and everybody says, 'Isn't that guy playing Mr. Wu a great actor!' That's a star part for you! "
Orson Welles discussing his appearance in The Third Man and One-Scene Wonder parts in general.

"Every artistic form—the blank-verse drama, the Greek plays, the novel—has only so many possibilities and only so long a life. And I have a feeling that in movies, until we break completely, we are only increasing the library of good works."
My Lunches With Orson

"I see movies through such a mist of years, I am incapable of feeling the thrill of them, even the greatest ones, because I cannot erase those years of experience. I’m jaded. Before I started making movies, I’d get into them, lose myself. I can’t do that now. That’s why I don’t think my opinions about movies are as good as somebody’s who doesn’t have to look through all those filters. I think all films are better than we think they are."
My Lunches With Orson

"Never touch shit, even with the gloves on. The gloves only get shittier, but the shit doesn't get any glovier."
Orson Welles describing his bitter dispute with noted Caustic Critic Pauline Kael in a 1970s letter to Peter Bogdanovich


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