I love that phrase "while he was on vacation." So much for the months Welles spent organizing and directing It's All True in Latin America, portions of which are now in danger of being lost forever because no one's interested in raising money to preserve the footage. This was one of the many topics addressed at a four-day conference in Munich in late October on Welles's unfinished films, which I attended along with Welles scholars from eight countries and two of Welles's major collaborators, Oja Kodar and Gary Graver. There was also a lot of discussion about the restorations or completions of, among other films, Don Quixote, The Other Side of the Wind, The Deep, and The Magic Show; recent restorations of previously unseen television films made by Welles in the 50s and 60s were also shown and evaluated. The American press, film magazines included, showed no interest in this event, though it has shown a great deal of interest in all the bogus spinoffs—perhaps because only the spin-offs are capable of lining the pockets of American suits. (Fleming also notes that RKO is considering a stage musical based on Citizen Kane and developing an early unrealized Welles script, The Way to Santiago.) Over the years I've come to believe that any CEO or journalist who refers to Welles as "Orson" is automatically untrustworthy. Fleming's story about the new The Magnificent Ambersons is headlined "Orson's revenge"—reflecting some ludicrous fantasy that a four-hour miniseries based on the script of Welles's mutilated masterpiece should somehow garner his posthumous approval.
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