Well, you guys really can really confuse a poor ancient country [at least suburban] school teacher like myself.
Tony, what you are imparting in the primer you give me is essentially "The New Criticism." I grew up in The New Criticism, and I accept a number of its tenets. However, when Cleanth Brooks and the Louisiana Group brought forth there manifestos in the early 1940's, they were revolutionaries. They were standing against much of the history of criticism from Shakespeare down to their own time. Theirs was a useful corrective, but revolutionaries tend not to leave well enough alone.
Forgive me, but to reject ANY biographical influences on a work of Art is stupid. Especially in such a naked public art as the Movies. If that be your criterion, then we should not have Wellesnet at all. For Welles is the least typical candidate one could imagine to illustrate your theory. His movies are shot full of grandly egotistical autobiographical illusions from first to last. [Which is why he is a mainstay of the "Auteur Theory."] We should only be discussing individual works, never touching on the time, place and personalities which produced them. By your lights, we should, indeed, call CASABLANCA the greatest movie ever made because it stands for what it stands for, and it would be difficult to find but the vaguest biographical detail in the movie which might be attributed to Michael Curtiz, Austro-Hungarian though he be. Not to mention Murray Burnett, Joan Alison, the Epsteins, Howard Koch (Welles again, ouch!) or even Casey Robinson.
If a large number of memoirs and diaries from Shakespeare's milieux had survived, we no doubt would find the biographical influences on his plays and poetry unavoidable.
When Welles makes his beautiful observation on the importance of Chartres, no matter who designed and constructed it, he really is going against the evidence of almost every movie he ever made. And he has just given us well over an hour of ego-fueled self-promotion, in which he attaches himself to everyone and everything in the film. What he says in that time is that all the factors which drive him drives F FOR FAKE. And if he is an impostor and a fraud in certain regards, so be it.
I would remind you, too, that his profound observation on the nature of Art comes in F FOR FAKE's final half hour, when he tells us he might well give us straight-faced lies.
Finally, either tonyw is pulling our leg, or he is someone's idiot son, because he cannot agree logically with both Tony and Harvey because what they say diametrically oppose the views of the other!
But forgive me, I'm wasting my time here. I must return to my great American novel about how my hero, Alistair Strawberry, hunted the Cape Buffalo with Ernest Hemingway in 1931. I know virtually nothing personally about the subject, of course, and therefore my novel will surely be scintillating, compared to one I had thought about writing, dealing with an old man slowly dying in the Tenderloin of San Francisco!