Orson Welles, Volume 3: One-Man Band’ by Simon Callow

‘Orson Welles, Volume 3: One-Man Band’, by Simon Callow
Review by Christopher Silvester

One-Man Band shares its title with that of an unfinished Welles documentary film, a series of comic segments about life in Britain filmed between 1968 and 1971, and aptly evokes his career-long battle for freedom from studio control. This battle brought chaos, but a chaos that for his biographer “was often invigorating, life-affirming, liberating — even necessary”. Welles is best understood, Callow argues, not as a frustrated director who worked in that role far too infrequently but as a Romantic artist, “a force of nature, ablaze with energy”, unceasingly experimental, “always trying to storm the citadel of creativity” http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ee00d138-990e-11e5-9228-87e603d47bdc.html

Ezra Pound and Film adaptations of fragments from the Cantos

Hamilton celebrates Ezra Pound’s 128th Birthday

By Max Newman ’16

October 31, 2013
Forum on Image and Language and Motion (F.I.L.M.) celebrated Hamilton alumnus and late poet Ezra Pound’s 128th birthday last Wednesday with a night full of history and experimental film adaptations.
Associate Professor of English Steve Yao opened the discussion with a detailed history of Pound from his time at Hamilton to his death in Venice in 1972. Professor Yao claimed, “Pound is arguably the most important poets of the 20th century,” referencing his controversial support of Benito Mussolini and fascism.

A graduate of the Hamilton Class of 1905, Pound portrayed his social and political beliefs in his poetry. “Pound’s goal was to solidify free verse as the dominant mode in American Literature,” Professor Yao said. Pound’s poems draw on revolutionary era American history, Chinese history and his own experiences.

Professor Yao describes Pound’s poetry as “difficult” and “mystical” because of its political commentary through romance language. This is especially true in The Cantos, Pound’s unfinished poem split into 120 sections. The poem was highly controversial as politics became heated at the start of World War II. Pound takes the reader through his ideas, focusing on oppression in China due to government corruption.

Professor Yao ended his opening words by introducing the evening’s main attraction: “Emergency-room physician in Toronto by day (and night), Bernard Dew has an aesthetic calling and artistic gift: he is a devotee of experimental poetry, and Ezra Pound in particular, and is fascinated with avant-garde film, especially the work of Stan Brakhage. In recent years Dew has brought these fascinations together in a series of remarkable cinematic adaptations of selections from Pound’s epic Cantos.”

Many of Pound’s poems are ekphrastic, written verses in response to visual images or paintings. Dew brilliantly took the text and turned them back into images through his films portraying Cantos #49 and #116. Four years in the making, Dew primarily gathered footage from Venice, Pound’s home for the last few decades of his life as well as his burial ground.

In Canto #49, Dew has a typewriter-at-work overtone throughout the movie as 15mm film images flash on and off the screen. The grainy collage of film allows the viewer, for even just a few minutes, to journey inside Pound’s complex poetic mind. The images move quickly from beautiful Italian architecture to abstract color flashes Dew filmed in his basement.

In his final completed Canto, #114, Pound reflects upon the poem as a whole. “It’s especially moving to see him questioning himself,” Dew said. Rarely do poets question the legitimacy of their work, yet Pound explores his crisis in depth.

Dew portrayed the beauty of Pound’s reflection by filming the first half of the Canto in in silence. Images of long, drawn-out ocean waves fill the screen in silence as if representing Pound’s mind at work.

Bernard Dew offers an intriguing perspective on Pound’s legacy. Although the films will unlikely appear in a theater near you, the adaptations are slowly circling around the world depicting Pound’s poetry in a language that is universal.


Bigendig of Mayan Long Count in Panoramas

At Chichen Itza last week–between playing drums for Fantuzzi, The Earthlings, and The peace tribe band at the chaotic ‘synthesis2012 festival–ifly, made some panorama photographs using my I-Pad, and shot some weird underwater video in a cenote called Encantado (rumored to have a female crocodile living in it!)
My journey was really FAR OUT and mystical, beautiful and challenging all-at-once. I got into more textual porridge over at my acrillic blog. Be my guest:
I opened an account with www.360cities.com today, and wanted to share my first batch of panos. Love, steve fly
My Trip to Chitchen Itza and Tulum 21st December 2012: (Condensed diary spillage):

Reflections on my trip to Chichen Itza: (a prose introspective streaming dollop) http://acrillic.blogspot.nl/2012/12/reflections-on-end-of-mayan-long-count.html


“And greater grown then in the trifle of her days, a mouse, a mere tittle, trots off with the whole panoromacron picture”–James Joyce, Finnegans Wake. pg. 318  

Snapped December 21st, 2012. Chichen Itza.

Orson Welles’ fans push for commemorative U.S. stamp in time for centennial celebration

Orson Welles’ fans push for commemorative U.S. stamp in time for centennial celebration

Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012, 8:11 PM     Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012, 8:12 PM

With the approach of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Orson Welles, Woodstock, Illinois, where the actor-director spent his formative years is leading the call for a U.S. postage stamp to honor the maverick filmmaker.
Woodstock Celebrates, is planning events in May 2014, marking the 80th anniversary of the Todd Theatre Festival during which Welles made his directorial debut, and in May 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Woodstock Celebrates and Wellesnet, a Welles resource website, are petitioning the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp in 2015 honoring the Orson Welles centenary. They argue that Woodstock is the proper locale for the first day issuance.
Woodstock Celebrates hopes the stamp drive and anniversary celebrations will attract Welles enthusiasts from around the United States and perhaps the globe, according to Kathleen Spaltro of Woodstock Celebrates.
“We want to reconnect Woodstock with two remarkable people in its history, Orson Welles and Roger Hill, an extraordinary educator at Todd School, who understood how to nourish creativity and foster love of learning,” Spaltro said.
At the Todd School for Boys, from 1926 to 1931, Welles met Hill, his mentor and lifelong friend. Asked as a middle-aged man who was the most important influence on his creativity, Welles replied, “Roger Hill. I think about him every day.”
Welles returned to Woodstock throughout the 1930s and 1940s – in particular for the theater festival at the Woodstock Opera House in 1934 that he organized and Hill, then headmaster, funded. There, Welles made his debut as a professional director, and he made his first venture into film in Woodstock with the 16mm short “The Hearts of Age.” In addition, Hill and Welles published the book“Everybody’s Shakespeare” in Woodstock that year.
Initial plans call for several Welles scholars to talk about his early life and career on the 80th anniversary of the 1934 Todd Theatre Festival (Tentative guests currently scheduled to speak include Joseph McBride, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Michael Dawson and Wellesnet’s Lawrence French).
In May 2015, Woodstock Celebrates will throw a 100th birthday party for the late actor-director-writer. Related, concurrent events may include library and/or county historical society exhibits, screenings of Welles-related films, sales by vendors of radio and movie memorabilia, and a re-enactment of the historic 1938 radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds.”
The issuance of a Welles commemorative postage stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth would complement Woodstock’s birthday party, organizers said.
Welles’ image appeared on a U.S. stamp in 1999 in a scene from his landmark film “Citizen Kane.” The 1941 film is regarded as the finest movie produced in Hollywood.
Stamp proposals must be submitted to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee in writing. Proposals made by e-mail will not receive a response. Subjects should be submitted at least three years in advance of the proposed date of issue to allow sufficient time for consideration and for design and production.

Stamp proposals should be submitted  to:
Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260-3501

Orson Welles’s lost Heart of Darkness screenplay performed for the first time

Orson Welles’s lost Heart of Darkness screenplay performed for the first time

Orson Welles’s audacious adaptation of Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ has never been performed – until now.

A fictional poster for Orson Welles’s Heart of Darkness by Fiona Banner Photo: Fiona Banner and La Boca
It was the one that got away. Heart of Darkness was meant to have been Orson Welles’s first film: a monumentally ambitious, technically innovative adaptation with which he hoped to shake up the industry.
Hollywood took one look at it – and baulked. Written in the late Thirties, Welles’s 174-page reimagining of Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella was considered too expensive, too challenging, and the theme of lust for power made the moguls uneasy. So he abandoned the project and embarked on Plan B, a little film called Citizen Kane.
Rejected by RKO’s sceptical president, George Schaefer, and bound up in rights issues with the Welles estate since his death, the Heart of Darkness script has never once been performed – until now.
On Saturday afternoon (31 March), a one-off production is being staged by the Turner Prize nominated artist Fiona Banner and live-streamed around the world from the most apt setting imaginable: a riverboat installation modelled on the Roi des Belges, the vessel Conrad captained on his journey up the Congo in 1890. Scottish actor Brian Cox will play – as Welles intended – both Marlow, the narrator-protagonist, and Captain Kurtz, the despotic ivory trader he seeks.
Over the entire event hang titanic spectres of hubris and defeat – both Welles’s own and those described in the story. This is what fascinated Banner. “It seemed to embody so much failure to me,” she says. “Or so much disappointment – the disappointment at the heart of Conrad’s story, the hopes and aspirations of all of us, and how they co-exist with impossibility. I think disappointment’s underrated, and such a rich part of life.
“Also the myth of the hero is so powerful in that tale. If you superimpose the heroic figure of Welles, he and Kurtz, and, in a way, all of the great Conrad characters sort of mingle together into one.”
Banner’s three-way obsession with Welles, Conrad and Heart of Darkness came out of an earlier project, The Nam, in which she confronted Hollywood’s mythologising of the Vietnam War. Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, the most famous Heart of Darkness adaptation, is a movie with its own parallel set of myths, a grandiose near-failure. Time and again, it seems, the strange power of Conrad’s text – “the dark cloud of genius”, as Banner puts it – has tempted film-makers up river and run them aground.
“The reasons Welles didn’t get [the film made] are interesting,” adds Banner. “When he started writing it, fascism wasn’t such a big story in Hollywood, but by the time he finished it, in 1939, it must have been something of a hot potato. That was probably the main reason it didn’t get made. The more I’ve looked into it, the more I’ve realised how close he is to the stuff in Europe, and not just in the obvious ways of giving all these company men that Marlow meets German names. It’s central to the tale.”
The political subtext of Welles’s script can’t have been the only thing that made Schaefer and his underlings quiver with uncertainty. The screenplay begins with an on-camera “screen test” in which he asks the audience to assume the role of a caged canary. There’s another prologue, utterly unrelated to Conrad, that places the viewer in an electric chair. All this is by way of establishing a radically new grammar of film-making, in which the camera’s eye is the same as our own. Welles visualises Marlow’s voyage as an implicating, first-person journey of discovery.
“I’ve never seen a script that dedicates so much space to camera,” says Banner. “You feel that if this film had been made, Hollywood might have been a different place.”
There’s no doubt that Welles’s innovations were ahead of their time: eight years after he had the idea, the you-are-the-camera gimmick was used in a Hollywood production – Robert Montgomery’s noir adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s Lady in the Lake (1947). The sense that Welles was pushing at the boundaries of what was possible within the studio system, but still failing to get most of his ideas off the ground, is precisely what makes his career such an endless source of fascination.
“He didn’t fulfil his potential – he ended up making frozen peas adverts and stuff,” Banner says. “But all through his life he’d go off and make these extraordinary things. He’d fund them himself, and some of them were never shown.”
The variety of techniques flaunted in the script pose mind-spinning challenges for Banner and her cameraman, Hugo Glendinning, whose images will be beamed down live across the internet. She’s guarding the exact details of how the production will work, practically speaking, but the aims are clear. “It will appear as if Cox is talking to himself, so this idea of duality, of one man’s vision challenging his intellectual condition, will be evident in the performance.
“Plus, Cox has the aura of a lead guy, but he doesn’t do many leads. So I like the idea of his being a kind of triple lead here – he’s channelling Welles, he’s channelling the allure of Kurtz and the almost moderate Marlow.”
It could make for a backward-looking exercise, an archaeological game with old-hat material, were it not for the curious relevance of Conrad’s work – and Welles’s – to what Banner calls “systems of control” that have lingered in their wake. “It does feel like a relevant text for today,” says Banner. “It’s about greed and lust for power. If you want to look globally, the tragedy is that the situation in the Congo is really no better now than it was then.”
Heart of Darkness will be streamed live from 5.30pm tomorrow online at aroomforlondon.co.uk and in the Purcell Room, London SE1

Hearst shows heart after 71 years, black and dry like a stone.

Hearst family forgive Orson Welles for Citizen Kane after 71 years

Screening of Welles’ masterpiece at former home of William Randolph Hearst will lay to rest long-running feud
Citizen Kane  
Orson Welles’ masterpiece Citizen Kane provoked the anger of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/RKO

When Orson Welles’ masterpiece Citizen Kane first hit cinemas in 1941, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was distinctly unimpressed: the similarities between himself and Welles’ creation Charles Foster Kane were too strong to be ignored. The powerful press baron went out of his way to derail the movie. Now, more than 70 years later, it seems that the family of the pre-eminent US media impresario of the early part of the last century has finally forgiven Welles after agreeing to a screening of Citizen Kane at the Hearst Castle visitor centre in California.


Twenty Twelve Line Verses v3.0 (Icosoheedrome)

Twenty Twelve Line Verses to ‘the tale of the tribe‘ (v3.0) by Fly Agaric 23
To be printed as TWENTY TRIANGLES to build an Icosohedron.
Thanks to Mark Pesce for kicking this into ‘hyperspace

W i l l i a m
Astrology Laureate
Automatic Visionary
Silver AppleMoon Golden Applesun
Oriental Spiritualist Dramatist
Return Pantheist
Philologist Pastmoderniche
Continental JungFreud Superman
Existential Perspectivist Genius
Organism Binding
Aristopple Intraverse
Magic Memory
Giordano Nolan
Hermetical Quintessence
Decentralized Models Cyberspace
Shadow Nickusa Gio Mnemonic
Heretical Transmigration Infinite
Writing Japanheart
Oriental Scholar
Holowriting dossier
Ideogram Metaprogram
Economic Symbolism Structuring
Bio Computer
Automation Thinking Humanist
Neuro-linguistic Minded Holismgram
Writer Citizen Actor Director
Shakespearean Academy Screenplayer
Thunder Rhetoric
Historicist Ribelle
Metaphysique Episteam Vichean
Spaceship Architect
Goes In For Structure Ezra Sez’
Energetic Synergetix Manual

WarGame Zero Sum
Co-creator Internet
Etching Digital Density Binary
Minimaxi Combinatrix Information
Imposition Orgone
Energetic Biofeedback
Omnipresent Dialectic Dynamo
Bio Interface
Cetacean Nation
Acoustical Linguistics
Interspecies Communication
Dyadic Cyclone Floatation mindtank
Taxonomic McLuhan
Vico Recorsi Timewave Novelty
Panspermia Cyberculture Psilocybin
Bohemian Startrek
Statistical Totality Gravity


ARGUABLY The greatest single resource for the study of DR. Robert Anton Wilson’s tale of the tribe.

Steve fly agaric 23.

Marshall McLuhan: Renaissance for a wired world By Gary Genosko.

The medium and the magician: Orson Welles, the radio years, 1934-1952 By Paul Heyer.

The classic Noh theatre of Japan By Ernest Francisco Fenollosa, Ezra Pound

The legacy of Norbert Wiener By Norbert Wiener, David Jerison, Isadore Manuel Singer, Daniel W. Stroock

The virtual Marshall McLuhan By Donald F. Theall

Popular culture in a new age By Marshall William Fishwick

Vico and Joyce By Donald Phillip Verene

Science and sanity: an introduction to non-Aristotelian systems and general semantics By Alfred Korzybski

The Ezra Pound encyclopedia By Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos, Stephen Adams

Giordano Bruno and the geometry of language By Arielle Saiber

Giambattista Vico and Anglo-American science: philosophy and writing By Marcel Danesi

Beyond Good and Evil By Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

The New Anthology of American Poetry: Traditions and revolutions, beginnings… By Steven Gould Axelrod, Camille Roman, Thomas J. Travisano

The good European: Nietzsche’s work sites in word and image By David Farrell Krell, Donald L. Bates

The Dragon Painter By Mary McNeil Fenollosa

At the speed of light there is only illumination: a reappraisal of Marshall McLuhan By John George Moss, Linda M. Morra

The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: A Critical Edition By Ernest Fenollosa, Ezra Pound

From Whitney to Chomsky: essays in the history of American linguistics By John Earl Joseph

The imported pioneers: Westerners who helped build modern Japan By Neil Pedlar

Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career By Edmund G. Bansak, Robert Wise

Spoken and written discourse: a multi-disciplinary perspective By Khosrow Jahandaríe

American literature and science By Robert J. Scholnick

The poetry of Ezra Pound By Hugh Kenner

Nietzsche: an introduction By Gianni Vattimo

News is people: the rise of local TV news and the fall of news from New York By Craig Allen


This movie was shared over at the maybelogic blog, thanks to Bobby. It sparked a flurry of visions. I thought of BOB. He would have loved this movie, I think. I find the TV scenes and treatment of the multi-media mixture of signals, more generally, mind blowing.
–steve fly

“”A half-forgotten, half-legendary pioneer in American abstract and animated filmmaking, Mary Ellen Bute, late in her career as an artist, created this adaptation of James Joyce, her only feature. In the transformation from Joyce’s polyglot prose to the necessarily concrete imagery of actors and sets, Passages discovers a truly oneiric film style, a weirdly post-New Wave rediscovery of Surrealism, and in her panoply of allusion – 1950s dance crazes, atomic weaponry, ICBMs, and television all make appearances – she finds a cinematic approximation of the novel’s nearly impenetrable vertically compressed structure.

With Passages from Finnegans Wake Bute was the first to adapt a work of James Joyce to film and was honored for this project at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965 as best debut.”