“Around the World with Orson Welles (1955) is a series of 26-minute TV documentaries, made for British television. Five of the episodes survive, and have been collected and released on a DVD. Welles compared the series to home movies. This is a bit misleading. There are travelogue sections shot silent, edited together with narration by Welles – segments that do resemble in form the average person’s vacation films of the era. But there are also extensive synch sound interviews with people Welles meets in his travels. These parts are a bit like a talk show, although they are generally set on locations where the person lives, rather than in a studio. In general, Welles resists “voice of authority” narration here, and tries to disguise his comments as elements of conversation with another character. Welles will also frequently show the camera, microphone, and the camera crews filming. It is part of the spectacle. Read More »
The story of a legendary director named J.J. “Jake” Hannaford, who returns to Hollywood from years of semi-exile in Europe, with plans to complete work on his own innovative comeback movie, also titled “The Other Side of the Wind”.
It’s a film about an unfinished film – and it looks as if it may never be finished. The Other Side Of The Wind was made by Orson Welles in the early 1970s. The New York Times published a story in late 2014 suggesting that the film would soon be ready. In 2015, a crowdfunding campaign raised more than $400,000 (£304,000) for the project. Earlier this year, there were reports that Netflix was ready to put up $5m to fund the completion of the movie and to distribute it worldwide. Read More »
Plot Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
In this comic adventure, an impoverished Yankee geologist and his cohorts band together with a group of fortune hunters to search for the priceless “Southern Star,” an enormous diamond. The geologist has a double stake in the hunt as he not only hopes to earn much-needed cash, he also hopes to marry the daughter of the financier who hired them. It is the geologist and his partner who find the diamond first. During the party the businessman holds to celebrate, the lights suddenly go out. When they flick back on, the diamond and the geologist’s partner has disappeared, leaving the geologist to shoulder the blame for the crime. To prove his innocence the geologist sets out after this thieving partner. He is pursued by a group of crooks who want the valuable rock for themselves. In the end, the geologist triumphs and the businessman allows him to marry his daughter. Read More »
A famous French documentary director has chosen to match his talents with those of a powerful subject who talks on his youth, his formative years, his life and work. Reichenbach on Welles on Welles, one might say.
These recollections help to explain something of the creative processes of film making, comparing the behaviour of Welles the director and Welles the man. Orson at home, Orson interviewed at the Cannes Festival, Orson shooting a scene with Jeanne Moreau… Orson in portrait. No less. (MIFF) Read More »
Want to be daring? Try watching Othello without the sound. The assembly of magnificent compositions that Welles has put together for his Othello is nothing short of astounding. Welles finds angles where they never existed before and extracts from the text, so elegant in word, a visual power unmatched by other Shakespearean movies. The heritage from Citizen Kane to Touch of Evil is evident in this stylistic tour-de-force.
Welles is an imposing Othello. Painted with shadows and light, Welles moves regally through the castle sets and strides powerfully along the beach or atop the ramparts. As Iago, Michael Mac Liammoir, the Irish stage actor, is quite creepy. His vast stage experience perhaps affects his performance in front of the camera too much, but the result is highly effective under Welles’ guiding camera and brilliant editing. Read More »
Sean Axmaker, Keyframe wrote:
When handed the raw materials from an unfinished documentary about Elmyr de Hory, an art forger whose life was being written up by biographer Clifford Irving, Orson Welles took the opportunity to make something far beyond the concept of the traditional documentary. F for Fake has been called the Orson Welles’ first essay film, a true enough statement if you limit the accounting to feature films, but he had been doing short-form non-fiction since 1955, when he made Around the World with Orson Welles (a.k.a. Around the World) for British television. Read More »
This short clip (10mins) features colour footage shot of costume tests for Welles unfinished project “The Merchant of Venice” from 1969 and whilst there is no sound to the footage, the music is part of a score that Welles had commissioned for “The Merchant of Venice” by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino. Read More »