For Your Consideration
A simple link to follow on from our screening of Orson Welles's The Trial: three more films directed by the great man that aren't You Know What. Your choices, then, for what we'll be showing on Tuesday 31 July are out of:
Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, Spain/Switzerland, 1965)
"Welles waddles through the foreground with an eye on his own problems of patronage, while behind the camera he conjures a dark masterpiece, shot through with slapstick and sorrow." Paul Taylor, Time Out
So. What happens is this. Henry IV (John Gielgud) usurps the English throne, sets in motion the factious War of the Roses and now faces a rebellion led by Northumberland scion Hotspur (Norman Rodway). Henry's heir, Prince Hal (Keith Baxter), is a ne'er-do-well carouser who drinks and causes mischief with his low-class friends, especially his rotund father figure, John Falstaff (Orson Welles). To redeem his title, Hal may have to choose between allegiance to his real father and loyalty to his friend. A lover of Shakespeare, Welles adapted Chimes at Midnight from Shakespeare's Henry IV, V, VI and Richard III and fashioned a brilliant comic classic in the process. Cast includes Jean Moreau, Margaret Rutherford and Fernando Rey.
F for Fake (Orson Welles, France/Iran/West Germany, 1975)
"For all its nods, winks and witty asides, it's a richly personal work, picking over the questions every creative artist must eventually ask: Am I 'for real'? Does it matter? And what is all this work worth, anyway?" Tom Huddleston, Time Out
The last film completed by Welles before his death in 1985, F for Fake focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger, which merely serves as the backdrop for a fast-paced, meandering investigation of the natures of authorship and authenticity, as well as the basis of the value of art. Far from serving as a traditional documentary on Elmyr de Hory, the film operates in several different genres and has been described as a kind of film essay, incorporating Welles's companion Oja Kodar, notorious "hoax-biographer" Clifford Irving, and Orson Welles as himself.
The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, USA, 1942)
"This is Orson Welles' lost movie, one he might have been able to rescue, had he been less brash -- and a film he and others believed to be superior to Citizen Kane." - Shawn Badgley, Austin Chronicle
The second feature film produced and directed by Orson Welles was an adaptation of Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1918 novel, about the declining fortunes of a wealthy Midwestern family and the social changes brought by the automobile age. The film stars Joseph Cotten as Eugene Morgan, an inventor who is madly in love with Isabel Amberson (Dolores Costello). Tim Holt plays her spoilt brat of son who only goes and ruins everything. Agnes Moorehead, Anne Baxter and Ray Collins also star, with Welles providing the narration.