Le 24 février 1982, après avoir reçu la Légion d'honneur des mains de François Mitterrand, Orson Welles répond à l'invitation de la Cinémathèque française. Se soumettant aux questions d'élèves d'écoles de cinéma, il enchaîne les considérations sur son métier de cinéaste, sur l’argent, l’image, l’usage de la couleur, de la vidéo ou ses souvenirs de tournages.
When Orson Welles gave a conference at the Cinémathèque Française in early 1982, it was hard to tell whether the packed audience was being treated to the mythical filmmaker who could no longer finish his films, or Welles the prodigious actor, or a circus freak. The "auteur" par excellence made a stirring speech in defence of actors, whom he saw as being the true masters of cinema. Adopting a range of different tones, captivating the audience with his witticisms and directing the cameramen filming the event, he put his theory into practice with an unparalleled flair for entertainment. His powerful acting and performance turns this documentary piece into what looks like a proper work of fiction - a show that could be one of Welles’ own films. Observing all this is Serge Daney, calmly taking note of the maestro’s comments, in stoic contrast to the audience’s total enthrallment.
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