Hello, I'm new here but I've been living in the Wellesian world for 2 months now as I've been translating Clinton Heylin's book about Welles struggle with Hollywood studios.
First of all - have you read the book and if so, what do you think?
I also have some questions to you as Welles admirers and native speakers of English. I wonder if you could help.
My questions are as follows:
1) In the fnale to "Black Irish" script (an early version of the Lady from Shanghai script) there is a scene after Michael "took the pills" with instructions about the saoundtrack: "Michael steps, drugged, stunned almost asleep. The voices of the commercial on the radio, the jam session, the billiard game, the congregation, the fight, blend weirdly together." This scene was deleted or never filmed, so it is NOT in the final version of the film, but is "the congregation" used here as "voices of people praying/singing in the church" here?
2) In the preface to the book it says that Welles made 10 films between 1945-1965, six in Hollywood, and four "raised digits to that cinematic colony". Raised digits?
3) About the technique of filming "The Lady from Shanghai": "every sequence in which Hayworth appears is broken into [...] wide shots [followed by] low-contrast, soft focus eye-level close-ups against a projected close-up". What does "against a projected close-up" mean here?
4) a quoted disparaging review of Welles' acting in "The Stranger": "the spectacle of Welles as a disguised Nazi spy walking through the film with an expression on his face which would have brought out the entire staff of Bellevue in an instant". I've learned Bellevue is a famous mental institution in America but what's the meaning of "brought out the entire staff in an instant" in this context assuming it was probably meant to be "funny"?
5) About using the idea of "Rosebud riddle" in "Citizen Kane" Welles said: "it was the only way we could find to get off". What's the meaning of "get off" here?
OK, of course I would have more questions, but these are most urgent ones and if you could help me with at least one, I would really appreciate it.
I must say that working on the translation made me really appreciate the art of Welles more and I've become sort of a fan, especially as far as "Ambersons" are concerned. So it was all kind of a discovery for me, which means I'll be posting on this site more and I'm so glad I've come across it.
All the best