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  • mistermuse 12:02 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , classic films, friendship, human nature, , , , , Peter Bogdanovich, , race hate, the good old days, the human spirit,   


    “My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four….unless there are three other people.” –Orson Welles (in his obese later years)

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    Today being the birthday (5/6/1915) of the great director/actor Orson Welles, I’m going to risk repeating myself by repeating myself….with a few selections (including the following clip) from a past post acclaiming Welles and his role in the classic film THE THIRD MAN:

    To those who think the likes of this 1949 film has appeal only for seniors (like me), I’d say such films are called classic because they’re ageless, not made to capitalize on what’s ‘in’ at the moment. To demonstrate, here is a non-senior citizen explaining why she loves it:

    Of Welles, the man grown from “boy genius,” much has been written, but I won’t go into the details of his life/legend here — they can be readily culled by clicking this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles (or less readily culled from recommended books like ORSON WELLES, a 562 page biography by Barbara Leaming). Instead, I will call on some of the wisdom he left behind….and I quote:

    Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, a confirmation of the human spirit.

    Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.

    I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.

    Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

    Don’t give them what they think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.

    We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

    When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.

    Well(es) said, I’d say.




    • Red Metal 12:09 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He was one talented filmmaker, that’s for sure, and I really do like his pearls of wisdom. It’s a shame more directors don’t use that ethos in their work. Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, and The Lady from Shanghai are all personal favorites of mine, and even if they had messages, they were still ultimately stories first, which is a large reason they’re able to stand the test of time. I also have a copy of The Magnificent Ambersons and F for Fake lying around; I want to give them a spin at some point.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:02 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        To “stand the test of time” is indeed the measure of a classic film (or any creative work, for that matter), and it goes almost without saying that a film doesn’t have to be ‘serious’ to be classic (think Charlie Chaplin, for example).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Red Metal 1:35 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink

          Yeah, the problem with a lot of modern filmmakers is that they’re more interested in being timely than timeless. The other problem is that they make films in a way that you’re only ever allowed to enjoy them on their terms, depriving them of any kind of applicability. Welles was always a storyteller first – even when he was tackling heavy subjects such as racism as he did in Touch of Evil. I make it a point that I always favor the storyteller over the preacher.

          Also, the fact that a film doesn’t need to be serious to be good is something more critics need to understand. As it stands, what they consider to be good is quite limited.

          Liked by 3 people

        • mistermuse 4:04 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink

          I couldn’t agree more, R M. Thanks for commenting again.

          Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 3:36 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      ‘I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.’ Awesome, Orson. And thanks etc. I like and enjoy wordplay so I’m following along.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 9:09 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That’s one of my favorite quotes as well. As an evolved deist, I stopped boring God years ago — at least, when it comes to praying.


    • mlrover 8:01 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      “When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.” MLKing said something similar that I also like about injustice. Haven’t had morning coffee or I would look it up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:14 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        When I came upon that quote, the rise and reign of Donald Trump immediately came to mind. Something is indeed happening to the whole society, and the longer his reign continues, the more normal it becomes.

        Liked by 1 person

    • rivergirl1211 8:03 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A visionary film maker to be sure. I’ve seen many, but am always pleased to discover a new ( to me ) one.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:24 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        “A visionary film maker” indeed (and a towering presence as an actor, as well). What a pity that so many of his films were taken out of this hands and/or re-edited out of his vision.

        Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 11:47 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve always admired Orson Welles, so enjoyed your post very much 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:48 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I too have long admired Welles, despite admitting that his work isn’t for all tastes….though the same could be said of how the “masses” have viewed many a ‘misunderstood genius’ and innovator.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:12 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The War of the Worlds panic was related to me by both my parents, although both denied being personally panicked. I’ve forced myself to sit through Citizen Kane twice, without it improving me measurably. Kind of wish the man had chosen to bore God instead of me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:36 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t count CITIZEN KANE among my favorite Orson Welles films, although it did make quite an impression on me when I first saw it. When I watched it again years later, I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t bear repeated viewings for those who aren’t “auteurs” (unlike, say, films such as CASABLANCA or THE THIRD MAN) and I haven’t watched it again again.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 2:42 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      MisterMuse, you’ve convinced me that I need to see The Third Man 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 8:16 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I saw The Third Man a few months ago after seeing it recommended on another blog. I loved it and could certainly watch it again.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:56 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for The Third Man, Elizabeth. I’ve watched it at least a half dozen times over the years, though I do allow a few years to pass between viewings because of the old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt” (though I doubt that would be the case with this film or several others I’ve watched many times).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza 1:29 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love those quotes! Especially the I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore god, and friendship creates an illusion.
      Love, light and glitter…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:20 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I love those two quotes too, Eliza, as well as the last one because it’s so relevant to the reign of Trump and his cronies today and the resulting “new normal” surrounding him.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Eliza 12:41 pm on May 8, 2019 Permalink

          ha ha. What’s the ‘new normal’ with him as president?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:09 pm on May 8, 2019 Permalink

          Perhaps I should have said “the new abnormal,” Eliza. The very fact that you asked the question shows that abnormal has become so normal with Trump that it seems normal. But you’re right in implying that, after two-plus years as “acting” President, it’s no longer new.

          Liked by 1 person

    • blindzanygirl 3:11 am on May 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I just love those quotes. And I also love the film. Many thanks to you

      Liked by 1 person

    • Chris Karas 6:42 pm on May 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotes. I chuckled at the lap of luxury bit. Definitely a timeless individual.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:38 pm on May 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      In his obese later years, Welles probably didn’t have much lap left — either physically, or of luxury. So he no doubt knew whereof he spoke.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 4:57 pm on May 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love listening to Peter Bogdanovich talk about film, especially Orson Welles films. Thanks for sharing this clip. I hadn’t seen it before. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Ostertag 7:53 pm on June 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Since I first saw THE THIRD MAN I had it in my top 5 favorite movies. As I grew older I realized it is my number one favorite. I watch it about every 6 months. So much fine acting, direction, script, cinematography, music. And once you are over-thralled by just how fine it is, the last scene comes on and compounds the feeling that it is truly a work of art.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:07 am on June 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I absolutely agree. Everything comes together so perfectly in this film that I don’t think it could improved on. How many movies can you say that about?

        Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry 1:21 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve just ordered a copy of The Third Man. Not sure whether I’ve ever seen it before — I suspect that I probably have, but if so it’ll have been so long ago I’ll have forgotten the plot 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:16 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        You’re quite welcome. If you’ve seen it before, this trailer should refresh your memory. If you haven’t seen it, this trailer may whet your appetite (though it can’t begin to do it justice):

        Liked by 1 person

        • pendantry 4:22 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink

          None of that rings any bells with me. Maybe I actually have never seen it before. I’m looking forward to watching it! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 5:31 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , human nature, psychiatry,   


    Perhaps you saw the story, reported by Associated Press writer Michael Rubikam, on 07/06/10. The headline was an attention grabber: Widow lives with corpses of husband, twin. It was the kind of headline that, save for the limited attention-span generation, won’t let you not take time to read the story behind it.

    It seems that a 91 year old widow in rural northern Pennsylvania, Jean Stevens, had the embalmed corpses of her late husband and twin sister dug up and placed in her garage and house, where she could look at and talk to them. After someone revealed this to authorities and had the bodies removed, the story reports that “She knows what people must think of her. But she had her reasons, and they are complicated, a bit sad, and in their own peculiar way, sweet.” They come across as the reasons of, not an unbalanced or pitifully ignorant person, but of a thinking, if somewhat eccentric, person.

    She kept her husband and sister well-dressed and seated on couches where she could see and touch them…even talk to them…because, “when you put them in the (ground), that’s goodbye, goodbye.” She worries that after death, there is nothing. But then, gazing at the stars in the skies and the deer in the fields, she thinks “There must be somebody who created this. It didn’t come up like mushrooms. I don’t always go to church, but I want to believe.”

    If anyone in this AP story strikes me as holier-than-thou and less than grounded, it’s Helen Lavretsky, a UCLA psychiatry professor, who is reported as declaring that

    …people who aren’t particularly spiritual or religious often have a difficult time with death because they fear that death is truly the end. For them, she said, “death doesn’t exist. They deny death.”

    In the first place, people can be spiritual without being religious, and in the second place, Stevens doesn’t deny death – she deals with it in her own way. Just because Mrs. Stevens’ way isn’t Dr. Lavretsky’s way is no reason to put down the former from on high.

    Somehow I can’t help but feel that I could have a much more engaging, thoughtful and human conversation with Mrs. Stevens than with Dr. Lavretsky. One thing I know for certain – I would much rather give a great big hug to Mrs. Stevens.

    • carmen 7:11 pm on December 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m with ya on that sentiment. Mrs. Stevens sounds like a lovely person. Dr. Lavretsky? Well, she sounds like a psychiatrist. . 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:09 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You got that right! 🙂


  • mistermuse 3:41 pm on January 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: human nature, palin,   

    Palin Can See Russia, But Can She See Herself? 

    I see where Sarah Palin accused Katie Couric of thinking she (Katie Couric) is “the center of everybody’s universe” (as if Sarah Palin doesn’t think Sarah Palin is the center of everybody’s universe). Far be it from me to belabor one example of spotlight-basking politicians who, like the poor, we shall always have with us. The larger point is this paradox of human nature: for all the time and effort we expend trying to dress, speak, live and act in ways to influence how others view us, we seem strangely oblivious to how others actually view us. Idealogues (of the left or right) seem particularly blind in this regard.

    This new kid on the blog, The Observation Post, eschews ideology. The more or less informed commentary to be offered here will not be agenda-driven, nor will it seek that second most illusory of pursuits, popularity. It will simply try to do, as a bemused muse, what it’s name implies: observe.

    Oh, yes – the first most illusory pursuit? Stay tuned.

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