I think this film is among the most fascinating there is. See, I think Orson Welles is among the greatest artists ever, in any field or time. He's a genius of light and shadow, of creating images and rhythms that not only captivate but shape the way films are made and how they're seen. If you have been bewitched by him, as I have been, in "F for Fake" (1974), then this film is a drug, really. It's amazing to see him talk, since he's such a charismatic narrator. Indeed, I think he could talk about anything and it'd be there to listen; considering that he discusses what I think is again among the greatest achievements in art, his 1952 film "The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice" (1952). His insight into his art, and his insight into art and storytelling, also as a storyteller in the ongoing conversation, are actually something I'd recommend to be studied, because they're not only first-rate, they're inspiring. His anecdote of him finding out "Othello" had won at Cannes is priceless, as well as that of the Turkish bath. Also Welles' remark that "one real life Iago is enough for any life", and his definition of a film director as " the man who presides over accidents, but doesn't make them." Of course this is best served with "Othello", but I would really see "F for Fake" too. They make for a great experience, and Welles' "Macbeth" (1948) and "Chimes of Midnight" (1965), as well. At this writing the film is available on YouTube. I suppose, as is the case with most Welles films, the rights issue is a tangle, since I haven't seen it on any DVDs.
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Essay film shot for TV including Orson Welles reflections on Othello close to the Moviola, a chat with Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir and fragments of a conversation with the audience in Boston after a screening of the film.
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June 8, 2019