Catching Up On The Maverick Auteur, 100 Years Strong

Welles_Orson_-AFIIn 1975, the American Film Institute saw fit to honor Orson Welles with a lifetime achievement award. Welles, in his speech, took the opportunity to validate “the mavericks” of filmmaking, of which he was perhaps lead among, while at the same time saluting the machine they must work around. After all, what else could he do?  By that point Welles had been rejected, for all intents and purposes, by Hollywood studio filmmaking. As early as his debut film Citizen Kane, he had been branded too solitary, too singular, too visionary.  Too dangerous.  He showed his face at the major studios only to take work as an actor for hire, a practice he engaged in order to financially support his independent directorial filmmaking efforts.  As he affably put it in the speech, “in other words, I’m crazy.”