- what follows is only a sort of short emotional reply, which I was unfortunately unable to repress, so apologies to all -
I was lucky enough to attend the Locarno screening of the Munich Filmmuseums' 20 minute assembly of the footage - and have to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with Phil Hall ...
Before the screening I've only seen the pieces included in 'One Man Band' and after reading Peter Tonguettes' wonderful contribution was of course eagerly looking forward to see it finally - but I couldn't have been more entranced or devastated.
I'll have to admit that Welles' and also Kodars' performance made me crying shamelessly.
The fragments of 'The Dreamers' are in my opinion simply the most openly beautiful, ethereal and mourning pieces of film that I've ever seen (in that sense, little else can equal it in Welles' work) - the sense of loss and longing and at the same time the embodiment of strength in Kodars' performance is extraordinary - ever since I heard her speaking 'Left or right, Marcus, but never home again' - the sound of these words kept me haunting.
Also visually the fragments are nothing less than enchanting - if Kodar described Welles as being 'secretly romantic' - this is the film to see, hear and feel the meaning of these two words.
The dark, yet incredibly warm and diffuse colors - easily combining and surpassing whole gallerys of both Romanticists and Impressionists - the quiet composition of the scenes contribute their share to the wistful, yet powerful tone, whereas the mood is at all moments extremly balanced.
Sadly, Hall maybe right when he says that "this ambitious project was doomed to failure from the beginning" - but this can only be seen in relation to the words heard in the film: "There is no justice in the world"
Both performances are out of question, the existing pieces of film are magnificent -
what rests is the question of the "box office value or name recognition" of Kodar and what Geoffrey MacNab called in a recent article in 'The Independent' the "one commodity Welles never had enough of in his lifetime: money."
I think that nobody here is likely to agree with Hall on this ...
In a way, there is good fortune that “The Dreamers” is so obscure. Welles’ talent was without peer and it is best for those who love his work to celebrate his many deserved triumphs and not be bothered by this small, shabby post-script to his career.
Instead I'm desperately hoping that it will be shown in as many places as possible and will see a release on DVD - to give more people the chance and delight of seeing these pieces which (can) give us a hauting hint of what once again could have been ...