I'm a cinematography student from Italy. I just got graduated with a thesis on Orson's Welles "Don Quijote". This experience was wonderful for me. I got to know a tragical, beautiful story: The story of Mauro Bonanni, Orson, and his "only son". Yes, this is the way Orson called "don quijote" when he met Bonanni, an Italian editor who got to work with Welles for almost 2 years at the end of the 60's. I met Mauro in Rome, at his house, a wonderful person, with a wonderful family, but still, emanating a deep sense of lonelyness. He gave me the most beautiful interviews about Orson that i hope to translate soon.
The situation that i want to share with you is that 20.000 meters of celluloid, of wonderful, incredible material shot by Orson, who left it to Mauro, that are deteriorating. This is happening because of the legal problems between Oja Kodar, who claims to be the legal owner of this material, and Bonanni, who got in this "cause" after he refused to give the movie to Miss Kodar and Jesus Franco in 1991. We all know what Franco, a third category movie director, did with the ugly material that he got (Bonanni explained me that was "trash" that Welles eliminated). Bonanni refused to give the movie even tough he was offered a huge amount of money. When he met Franco, and he said that he was going to use Cervantes' book as a script, and that he assumed to do everything (editing, choosing the photograms, inserting the dialogues that were not included). Welles, indeed, never wanted to follow Cervantes' book. In the interview Mauro explained me how the movie was about to be completed by he and Welles.
Now, the problem is that nobody is doing anything to save this material. Bonanni can't move it, Miss Kodar doesn't take away the legal cause. What i'm thinking to do is to organize a symbolic (to start) association, to write a "program", a sort of "manifesto" of this association, and to collect the more signs (autographs) i can, so that we can show how many people want to save this movie. I got to see 60 minutes of the material...and is beautiful. A unique film in the Orson Welles production. Free from producers and financial problems, Orson could finally express his artigianal conception of "making movies". He is a painter in this movie, not a simple director. Mauro told me about his feeling for the celluloid, he wanted to touch it, to work on it just like a painter do with his work.
This is a true masterpiece, we got to do something for it. I got in touch with Manuel De Sica, son of the great Vittorio, who saved a lot of his dad movies with his Association. Indeed, it looks like he doesn't know how to help me with this. I talked about my project with one of my college Professor, and it looks like he will help me to meet a famous italian critic, to see if he can help. Another contact that i hope to get soon, is Nanni Moretti. But i wont contact him now, since he must be totally concentrated on his new movie "Il Caimano", that is going to be at Cannes Festival. I really feel like i got to start all this alone, and that the internet community can help me.
I'm never been able to express my feelings in English. I truly always thought is not a language for feelings, more for fast communication. I don't think you'll feel my passion from this post. I just want you to know that since i saw that movie, since i got in touch with this incredible, beautiful story, i feel like i got to do something. I feel like this was an appointment for me, for my life. Now i know why i choosed this career.
I'm not asking for help. Here we got an opportunity. An opportunity to let Welles express again, after this mediocre world killed him. An opportunity to give back to the humanity a masterpiece. We are obligated to do it.
I got the interview. But is in Italian. My english is not so good. If any of you is interested to read it in Italian...