Filming 'Othello'



IMDb Rating 7.5 10 336


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June 03, 2019 at 02:07 AM



Orson Welles as Host / Othello
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690.49 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
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1.31 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kurosawakira 9 / 10

A Drug

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.

Reviewed by Raxivace 8 / 10

A Last Look into an Artist's Mind

The final film of Orson Welles is perhaps his quietest, most reflective piece of work. "Filming Othello" is not, as the title might suggest, a "making of" documentary about putting the Shakespeare play onto film. Instead it falls into the somewhat vaguely-defined "essay film" category occupied by the likes of Welles' own "F for Fake", and perhaps the documentary work of Werner Herzog. This movie mostly consists of its director talking into his camera toward the audience, and occasionally playing clips of his "Othello", past conversations with other actors, interviews, etc. Formally, this film is not the most interesting in the world (which ironically, is where Welles has largely succeeded in the past in filmmaking), but here it's the content that is truly fascinating.

Nearly thirty years after putting his own version of "Othello" onto film, here we watch Welles look back onto it, recounting both tales of the production, his own interpretations of Shakespeare's original text and discussion with others on it, reaction to the film, and finally his own wish to have made it even better than it was. If this is not concerned with how to film Shakespeare, then what "Filming Othello" is concerned with is Welles himself, and his look back at an accomplishment in his life, and with the distance from it gained by history.

This film is Welles probing his own mind, where if in "F for Fake" he shares with us his philosophy on art in general, "Filming Othello" is his philosophy on creating and thinking about his own work. And yet there's a melancholic feeling all throughout the movie as Welles calmly but quietly reviews his past work. One gets the impression that here the legendary director of "Citizen Kane" who was willing to pick a fight with powerful newspaper tycoons at the mere age of 24 has finally been humbled by history, and that he has finally acknowledged his best days are behind him.

"Good night." Those are the words that Welles speaks to us at the film's very end, and they serve as a last, sad goodbye from a great artist, lamenting that he could not have done more.

Reviewed by writers_reign 7 / 10

Richer Than All His Tribe

There are those and I am amongst them who would cheerfully listen to Orson Wells recite the Farmers Almanac, but that is because that like Richard Burton, for example, he is blessed with a magnificent vocal instrument and it is undoubtedly true that both actors - at their best unsurpassed - have more made more than their sure of clinkers. At least Welles did it in a good, nay, honourable cause, in order to generate funds to finance a series of independent productions many, sadly aborted and/or unfinished, whilst Burton just didn't care. One product that he was able to finish albeit not as he would have like was Othello and in this documentary he reminisces with a couple of the actors involved. It is impossible for Welles to bore an audience but nevertheless, I for one, a committed Welles buff, wished it were somehow more though not quite sure what was lacking, I'm pleases to have seen it but that's all.

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