Ray: I wish Stefan Droessler could speak for himself -- he has taken part in our discussions -- but perhaps he is busy, or restricted still by contractual agreements and confidences. My impression, however, is that he has found Oja Kodar's "gift" of two tons of Welles material, over time, something of "an embarrassment of riches." He and his team at the Munich Film Museum already have a silver wealth of German expressionistic silent and other films to work on. [The last time I saw him, he brought me a beautiful souvenir book of the three part restoration (German, French, and English) of Max Ophul's last great film, LOLA MONTES, which he had worked on.] He tends to be an archivist, a compiler, a polisher of films, not a creator, as such, his THE COMPLETE MR. ARKADIN, notwithstanding. He did not strike me as someone with an overwhelming desire to complete either THE DEEP or THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND. Too many lost sound tracks, missing scenes, various contradictions between scripts and shot footage stood in his way. But I hope that he is still digging away at finding those elements, for he he has shown himself among the best at his craft. As you suggest, also, Ray, funding may be a factor. There is not an overwhelming outcry or market for these Welles' films or we would have them.
Besides, unlike THE DEEP, the actual negative of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND is said to still be locked within in that vault in Paris. [It's a bit like the plot of Billy Wilder's great "lost" film, THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES.]
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Jay: "The Dreamers" is a short story by Isak Dinesen (aka, the Baroness Karen Blixen), whose other works (from many), Out of Africa and "Babette's Feast," made bases for successful movies. "The Dreamers" tells the story of Pellegrina Leoni, a beautiful opera star, who loses her voice. She has been guided by an old mentor, who tells the tale, and it is not hard, for me at least, to see Orson Welles, at his stage of life, imagining Oja Kodar as his Pellegrina, dedicating himself to freeing her "voice." Under the influence of the great poet Robert Graves, Welles was attracted to Isak Dinesen, too, because she saw herself as "a storyteller" and created a mask and a persona, which she gradually became. Unfortunately, only a few scenes based on "The Dreamers" were ever shot by Welles and Ms. Kodar, most of them in Welles' Los Angeles home.
Looking over "The Dreamers" again, a glass of red wine at hand in a balloon glass found at the Good Will, I cannot resist the irony of the following line in regard to Welles and others I've known, as we grow older:
"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?"
Try the Baroness Blixen, Jay. You might like her.