Peter Bogdanovich: How about Rogopag?

Orson Welles: Can’t believe that. I was never in a picture with a name like that.

Bogdanovich: In one episode directed by Pasolini. You played a movie director.

Welles: Oh, yes… Censored, in Italy at least, after one single screening in Venice.

Bogdanovich: I didn’t think it was very good.

Welles: No? Why?

Bogdanovich: It was sort of obscure and arty—

Welles [laughs]: “Obscure and arty.” Simply because it didn’t happen on the banks of the Mississippi, it’s obscure and arty… You mustn’t be asked about anything that isn’t, you know, Judge Shit on the Range or something—

Bogdanovich [laughing]: Well, among other things wrong with it, they dubbed you into Italian.

Welles: I played it in Italian! The exhibitors must have thought the Italian public couldn’t stand my accent. They have a terrible snobbism about accents in Italy. So much so that lots of their leading actors—the girls especially—have never been heard in Italy speaking their own language in their own voices; they’re dubbed by radio actors.

Bogdanovich: I didn’t know that.

Welles: Yes. If your accent is vaguely of the north, let’s say, then everybody in the south hoots with laughter. So of course my own little touch of Kenosha would have been fatal. I read a poem in that one, and Pasolini told everyone that he’d never heard an Italian actor read Italian poetry with such simplicity and directness. He tried to get me to play a pig a couple of years ago when I was in Vienna.

Bogdanovich [laughing]: Really a pig?

Welles: A German pig. Something really obscene.

Bogdanovich: You like Pasolini?

Welles: Terribly bright and gifted. Crazy mixed-up kid, maybe—but on a very superior level. I mean Pasolini the poet, spoiled Christian, and Marxist ideologue. There’s nothing mixed up about him on a movie set. Real authority and a wonderfully free way with the machinery.

[This is Orson Welles]

"I would say Husbands and Saint Jack and The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie are my three favorite films, of my work. Saint Jack is particularly dear to me, because we got to Singapore with the screenplay—Peter Bogdanovich and I and George Morfogen, his assistant—and we saw that it didn’t work. So every night before shooting, Peter and I and George would meet in his room and write the material to be shot the next day. That’s how we did it. I was as involved as I was with Husbands with John, not just as an actor, but as a creator of the events. That’s how I came into the theater in the first place, actually. That’s what I love. I hate just showing up, hitting a mark, doing your work, and going home. It’s very boring. But being part of the creation of the whole thing is very exciting.”
Ben Gazzara (August 28, 1930 – February 3, 2012)

"I would say Husbands and Saint Jack and The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie are my three favorite films, of my work. Saint Jack is particularly dear to me, because we got to Singapore with the screenplay—Peter Bogdanovich and I and George Morfogen, his assistant—and we saw that it didn’t work. So every night before shooting, Peter and I and George would meet in his room and write the material to be shot the next day. That’s how we did it. I was as involved as I was with Husbands with John, not just as an actor, but as a creator of the events. That’s how I came into the theater in the first place, actually. That’s what I love. I hate just showing up, hitting a mark, doing your work, and going home. It’s very boring. But being part of the creation of the whole thing is very exciting.”

Ben Gazzara (August 28, 1930 – February 3, 2012)



“One time everybody went to lunch except Orson and me. He had said he wasn’t hungry, so I’d said the same to keep him company. Ten minutes after we were alone, he said, “Are you hungry? I’m absolutely starving!” I admitted I was too, so we went into the kitchen and from the top of the refrigerator he pulled the largest bag of Fritos I had ever seen, ripped off a two-inch strip across the top of the bag, splashed out a large portion onto the kitchen table, sat, took a huge handful, and shoved it into his mouth. I did exactly the same and we sat there chewing seriously for several minutes before Orson could finally manage to say, confidentially, still chewing, and with a gleefully manic look: “You know… you don’t gain weight… if nobody sees you eating!”
— Peter Bogdanovich, This is Orson Welles [x]

“One time everybody went to lunch except Orson and me. He had said he wasn’t hungry, so I’d said the same to keep him company. Ten minutes after we were alone, he said, “Are you hungry? I’m absolutely starving!” I admitted I was too, so we went into the kitchen and from the top of the refrigerator he pulled the largest bag of Fritos I had ever seen, ripped off a two-inch strip across the top of the bag, splashed out a large portion onto the kitchen table, sat, took a huge handful, and shoved it into his mouth. I did exactly the same and we sat there chewing seriously for several minutes before Orson could finally manage to say, confidentially, still chewing, and with a gleefully manic look: “You know… you don’t gain weight… if nobody sees you eating!”

Peter Bogdanovich, This is Orson Welles [x]

2or3thingsiknowaboutfilm:

Peter BogdanovichBorn July 30, 1939I think one of the reasons younger people don’t like older films, films made say before the ’60s, is that they’ve never seen them on a big screen, ever. If you don’t see a film on a big screen, you haven’t really seen it. You’ve seen a version of it, but you haven’t seen it. That’s my feeling, but I’m old-fashioned.

2or3thingsiknowaboutfilm:

Peter Bogdanovich
Born July 30, 1939

I think one of the reasons younger people don’t like older films, films made say before the ’60s, is that they’ve never seen them on a big screen, ever. If you don’t see a film on a big screen, you haven’t really seen it. You’ve seen a version of it, but you haven’t seen it. That’s my feeling, but I’m old-fashioned.

Peter Bogdanovich: Was it true that one director told you not to call them “movies,” but “motion pictures”?Orson Welles: Ah, that was a friend of yours, Peter—that was George Cukor, and remember, he was from the New York stage. That probably had something to do with it. Nowadays, I’m afraid the word is rather chic. It’s a good English word, though—“movie.” How pompous it is to call them “motion pictures.” I don’t mind “films,” though, do you?Peter Bogdanovich: No, but I don’t like “cinema.”Orson Welles: I know what you mean. In the library of Eleonora Duse’s villa in a little town in Veneto where we’ve been shooting just now [The Merchant of Venice], I found an old book—written in 1915—about how movies are made, and it refers to movie actors as “photoplayers.” How about that? Photoplayers! I’m never going to call them anything else.Peter Bogdanovich: I have a book from 1929, and they list 250 words to describe a talking picture, asking readers to write in their favorites. And “talkie” was only one of them. Others were things like “actorgraph,” “reeltaux,” and “narrative toned pictures.”Orson Welles: I went with my father to the world premiere in New York of Warner’s first Vitaphone sound picture, which was Don Juan starring Jack Barrymore. I think it was opening night. It was really a silent, with a synchronized sound track full of corny mood music, horse hooves, and clashing swords. But it was preceded by a few short items of authentic talkies—Burns and Allen, George Jessel telephoning his mother, and Giovanni Martinelli ripping the hell out of Pagliacci. My father lasted about half an hour and then went up the aisle dragging me with him. “This,” he said, “ruins the movies forever.” He never went back to a movie theatre as long as he lived.This is Orson Welles [x]

Peter Bogdanovich: Was it true that one director told you not to call them “movies,” but “motion pictures”?

Orson Welles: Ah, that was a friend of yours, Peter—that was George Cukor, and remember, he was from the New York stage. That probably had something to do with it. Nowadays, I’m afraid the word is rather chic. It’s a good English word, though—“movie.” How pompous it is to call them “motion pictures.” I don’t mind “films,” though, do you?

Peter Bogdanovich: No, but I don’t like “cinema.”

Orson Welles: I know what you mean. In the library of Eleonora Duse’s villa in a little town in Veneto where we’ve been shooting just now [The Merchant of Venice], I found an old book—written in 1915—about how movies are made, and it refers to movie actors as “photoplayers.” How about that? Photoplayers! I’m never going to call them anything else.

Peter Bogdanovich: I have a book from 1929, and they list 250 words to describe a talking picture, asking readers to write in their favorites. And “talkie” was only one of them. Others were things like “actorgraph,” “reeltaux,” and “narrative toned pictures.”

Orson Welles: I went with my father to the world premiere in New York of Warner’s first Vitaphone sound picture, which was Don Juan starring Jack Barrymore. I think it was opening night. It was really a silent, with a synchronized sound track full of corny mood music, horse hooves, and clashing swords. But it was preceded by a few short items of authentic talkies—Burns and Allen, George Jessel telephoning his mother, and Giovanni Martinelli ripping the hell out of Pagliacci. My father lasted about half an hour and then went up the aisle dragging me with him. “This,” he said, “ruins the movies forever.” He never went back to a movie theatre as long as he lived.

This is Orson Welles [x]

Peter Bogdanovich: I think we’d better have your thoughts on Godard.
Orson Welles: Well, since you’re so very firm about it. He’s the definitive influence if not really the first film artist of this last decade, and his gifts as a director are enormous. I just can’t take him very seriously as a thinker—and that’s where we seem to differ, because he does. His message is what he cares about these days, and, like most movie messages, it could be written on the head of a pin. But what’s so admirable about him is his marvelous contempt for the machinery of movies and even movies themselves—a kind of anarchistic, nihilistic contempt for the medium—which, when he’s at his best and most vigorous, is very exciting.

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.)

Orson Welles on the set of Chimes at Midnight.

Peter Bogdanovich [reading]: “Writers should have the first and last word in moviemaking, the only better alternative being the writer-director, with stress on the first word.”Orson Welles: I’ll stick with that. Just plain directing is the world’s easiest job.PB: You’d better qualify that one!OW: Peter, there isn’t another trade in the world where a man can go blithely on for thirty years with no one ever finding out that he’s incompetent. Give him a good script, a good cast, and a good cutter—or just one of those elements—all he has to say is “Action” and “Cut,” and the movie makes itself… I mean it, Peter. Movie directing is a perfect refuge for the mediocre. But when a good director makes a bad film, the entire universe knows who’s responsible.PB: Hmm…OW: The true author-director has to be so much better than any ordinary pro. When he isn’t, it shows badly. The hacks are safe; the originals are out on a limb—which is just where they belong, of course.PB: Are there more originals today, or less?OW: Are movies almost finished, or have we scarcely started? Who knows? It’s like that great remark of Chesterton’s: “Nobody knows,” he said, “whether the world is old or young.”
(From This is Orson Welles.)

Orson Welles on the set of Chimes at Midnight.

Peter Bogdanovich [reading]: “Writers should have the first and last word in moviemaking, the only better alternative being the writer-director, with stress on the first word.”
Orson Welles: I’ll stick with that. Just plain directing is the world’s easiest job.
PB: You’d better qualify that one!
OW: Peter, there isn’t another trade in the world where a man can go blithely on for thirty years with no one ever finding out that he’s incompetent. Give him a good script, a good cast, and a good cutter—or just one of those elements—all he has to say is “Action” and “Cut,” and the movie makes itself… I mean it, Peter. Movie directing is a perfect refuge for the mediocre. But when a good director makes a bad film, the entire universe knows who’s responsible.
PB: Hmm…
OW: The true author-director has to be so much better than any ordinary pro. When he isn’t, it shows badly. The hacks are safe; the originals are out on a limb—which is just where they belong, of course.
PB: Are there more originals today, or less?
OW: Are movies almost finished, or have we scarcely started? Who knows? It’s like that great remark of Chesterton’s: “Nobody knows,” he said, “whether the world is old or young.”

(From This is Orson Welles.)

Polish poster for Paper Moon. Designed by Jerzy Flisak.

Polish poster for Paper Moon. Designed by Jerzy Flisak.