Quick-Thoughts: Orson Welles’ Hopper/Welles

“Fuck the audience.” – George Orson Welles

As much as Hopper/Welles is being sold off as strictly an unearthed “interview” or “preera-podcast” and not really a “true feature-length,” it’s at least apparent that icon Orson Welles hoped for this project to fit cozily into his oddball filmography. The man is undoubtedly supervising the cameras here to add a tiny magnitude of liveliness, invigorating this interview with more vitality than alternating still-shots ever could. I suppose you could consider any two-hour conversation to be a definitive “film” if we were to follow my logic however — since any visual medium really can fit the criteria of a “movie” — yet then again, I don’t watch many two-hour interviews to completely justify my position. 

In this newly restored fusion of lost footage, I could literally feel through the screen Grandpa Welles lamenting for Dennis Hopper, even in that grumpy tone of his. This pity seems utterly apparent as we witness Welles scrutinizing negatively over the things that him and Hopper as American filmmakers must slam through in artistic seclusion or ambiguity, continuing to do so in New Hollywood industries weakened by corruption, sensitivity, and repetition. I think Welles always wanted filmmaking to seem endless, as if it should never fit any particular criteria and deserved an ability to say and show whatever the hell it wanted to — as idea-hungry humans, we simply have no excuse not to buy into this. Hopper is quite wise though too, trying to pick apart the divineness of casting art for others to feed on, progressing a sort of surreally essential purpose to the existence of cinema. 

What a genuine “movie” nonetheless — which could simply be because I connected deeply with many bold points that were blasted between the two legends regarding society’s relationship with cinema; it has that Close-Up (1990) effect in a way. And, yes, I’ve decided that Hopper/Welles is indeed a “movie.” 

The two’s conversation specifically on God vs The Director though… had me particularly curious. #cinemaisthebestart

Verdict: B

2020, Documentaries & Orson Welles Ranked

“Hopper/Welles” will be released in select theaters soon.

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