May 02 - May 08, 2014
(Orson Welles, U.S.A., 1952, DCP, 90 min)
New digital restoration!
When historians discuss the blighted career of Orson Welles, they generally hone in on the meddlesome studio mutilations of Magnificent Ambersons or Touch of Evil, but there is no more star-crossed Welles work than his 1952 adaptation of Othello.
A veritable perfect storm of impediments cursed this international production (too little money, too little time, etc.). Even after winning the Palme d'ôr at Cannes in 1952, it took two years for Othello to find wide distribution, where it then flopped unceremoniously.
This masterpiece, which we are screening in a pristine digital restoration, is absolutely essential viewing, and a rare chance to admire Welles' astonishing visual corollary to Shakespeare's themes of race, trust, jealousy, paranoia. Unlike most film adaptations of Shakespeare, this is unmistakably Cinema instead of Theatre.
With Welles in fine form, brilliant as the Moor (he also supplied the post-synchronous voices of many minor characters), and Micheál MacLiammóir as the venal Iago.