Orson Welles on the set of Chimes at Midnight.

Orson Welles: My own special case is that, to function happily, I like to feel a little like Columbus: in every scene I want to discover America. And I don’t want to hear about those goddamn Vikings. Each time I set foot on a movie set, I like to plant a flag. The more I know about the intrepid discoverers who’ve come before me, the more my little flag begins to look like the one on the golf course which you take out of a hole so you can sink a putt. I don’t pretend at all that my own delicate feelings in this matter should be taken as dogma, but I will say this: let filmmakers beware of films. They really are bad, you know, for the eyes. Filmmakers spend too much of their lives in projection rooms. They should come out more often into the sunshine. Other men’s films are a poor source of vitamins. … You follow me?Peter Bogdanovich: I think I agree.OW: Other men’s films are full of good things which really ought to be invented all over again. Again and again. Invented—not repeated. The good things should be found—found—in that precious spirit of the first time out, and images discovered—not referred to.PB: Well, it’s a big problem for anybody starting now—OW: Everything’s been done, you mean? No, that’s not the problem. The trouble is that everything’s been seen. Directors see too many movies. Sure, everything’s been done, but it’s much healthier not to know about it. Hell, everything had all been done when I started…
(From This is Orson Welles.)

Orson Welles on the set of Chimes at Midnight.

Orson Welles: My own special case is that, to function happily, I like to feel a little like Columbus: in every scene I want to discover America. And I don’t want to hear about those goddamn Vikings. Each time I set foot on a movie set, I like to plant a flag. The more I know about the intrepid discoverers who’ve come before me, the more my little flag begins to look like the one on the golf course which you take out of a hole so you can sink a putt. I don’t pretend at all that my own delicate feelings in this matter should be taken as dogma, but I will say this: let filmmakers beware of films. They really are bad, you know, for the eyes. Filmmakers spend too much of their lives in projection rooms. They should come out more often into the sunshine. Other men’s films are a poor source of vitamins. … You follow me?
Peter Bogdanovich: I think I agree.
OW: Other men’s films are full of good things which really ought to be invented all over again. Again and again. Invented—not repeated. The good things should be found—found—in that precious spirit of the first time out, and images discovered—not referred to.
PB: Well, it’s a big problem for anybody starting now—
OW: Everything’s been done, you mean? No, that’s not the problem. The trouble is that everything’s been seen. Directors see too many movies. Sure, everything’s been done, but it’s much healthier not to know about it. Hell, everything had all been done when I started…

(From This is Orson Welles.)

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      We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.
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      Orson Welles on the set of Chimes at Midnight. (From This is Orson Welles.)
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