Orson Welles in the Sixties: a Retrospective this August at Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum
Bob Downing has sent along information about a very interesting Orson Welles film series that will be screening in August at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum. It will feature all three films Orson Welles directed in the decade of the sixties: The Trial, Falstaff and The Immortal Story. If you are in the Seattle area, I'd highly recommend the series pass of seeing all three Welles films for only $15.00!
Here is a link with information about the schedule and the special guest speakers that will introduce several film showings:
I must say I find this to be a rather bold and exciting programming choice. It's also a very interesting way of approaching three of Welles great later movies. Audiences will be able to see rarely screened Welles films in 35mm prints (except for The Immortal Story which is showing in 16mm) that showcase a style that was very different from most of his previous work. These films, however, also show us Welles at the very top of his form - Welles himself considered both Falstaff and The Trial to be among his greatest works in the cinema.
Looking back, it's clear that Welles was very much in the vanguard of the sixties many cinematic innovations. It should also be remembered that in the sixties, besides Welles, most of the great European directors (such as Bergman, Fellini, Godard, Antonioni, Resnais, etc.) had yet made the jump to color cinematography until 1964 or later. Which is why seeing The Immortal Story in color, after the beautiful black and white photography on display in The Trial and Falstaff should be especially instructive.
Of course, Welles ultimate sixties film is the one he didn't even begin until after the end of the decade, The Other Side of the Wind. Obviously, it can't be shown as part of the Seattle film series, but it should never-the-less be considered as part of Welles groundbreaking cinematic efforts that grew out of the decade of the sixties, since it would be the first time Welles would film explicit sex scenes, shortly after the MPAA ratings system came into existence in 1968. In The Immortal Story the sex scenes were still relatively chaste, but after such X-rated films as Midnight Cowboy and Myra Breckenridge were released, Welles clearly felt he could push the edge of the sexual envelope well beyond the prevailing standards of the time.
Shockingly, besides the short excerpts that have emerged, we are still waiting to see just what Welles came up with for his final opus, which I firmly believe is another masterpiece: The Other Side of the Wind !