Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Remembrance Day. I remember pictures of my father and my uncle in uniform (they never went overseas), I remember my grade five teacher stabbing the air as she conducted the whole class in a recitation of In Flanders Fields, I remember stories of those who fell.

And I remember postwar Vienna through Carol Reed's cockeyed lens. And Harry Lime who said:

"You know what the fellow said—in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Orson wrote that line (though the screenplay was scripted by Graeme Greene). After the movie came out Orson said that the Swiss very kindly pointed out to him that they had never made any cuckoo clocks.

Welles, always inventing. The Swiss did actually make cuckoo clocks; they were famous for their Chalet Style concieved at the end of the 19th century. Welles, genius, theif or cuckoo? All of the above? None of the above?

Soon I will move on and forget these nagging questions about Orson. But for now -

I remember Orson.

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aaronschwartz said...
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