Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Filming "Othello"



The last completed essay film of Orson Welles, and the last of his features to be released during his lifetime (1979), this wonderfully candid, rarely screened account of the making of his first wholly independent feature offers a perfect introduction to that movie and to Welles's "second" manner of moviemaking, which became necessary once he parted company with the studios and mainstream media. Significantly, the only section of the original Othello we see and hear in its original form is part of the opening sequence; everything else--usually shown silently with Welles's narration--is an intricate reediting of the original material. Whether he's addressing us beside his moviola, delivering new versions of Shakespearean speeches, chatting with his old Irish friends and collaborators Micheal MacLiammoir (his Iago) and Hilton Edwards, or speaking to college students, Welles is at his spellbinding best. He intended this documentary to be shown with Othello, and this is one of the few times it ever has been (see separate listing). (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, 7:00; Sunday, February 27, 5:30; and Monday through Thursday, February 28 through March 3, 7:00; 281-4114.

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