Help with the site! Look here.
Have Welles news? Contact me here.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2006: MESSAGE BOARD UPDATE: The gods of the circuit board and CGI script have smiled upon me, as the problems which bedeviled me yesterday in trying to get the message board upgraded suddenly were gone this morning. So the board is back, if you haven't already looked, so carry on and if you have problems, please email.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2005: If you read the message board, you'll know that the Locarno Film Festival's Welles retrospective finished a couple weeks ago. I gave a presentation on Welles' radio career, which did not result in tomatoes being hurled at me, so it must have been okay. Anyway, among the new prints being screened was a lesser light of the Mercury, Journey Into Fear. I arrived to the screening late, but despite not having seen the film in about five years, a creeping feeling came over me that the film was better than I recalled it being. When the final scene arrived and it was not the Welles-Cotten scene of old, but instead a humorous scene featuring Cotten, still on that ledge, and Ruth Warrick, I knew something was up. Turns out that what we may have seen was the original version of Journey, before the RKO hacks went to work on it. It isn't significantly longer than the American release version, but it certainly played better. Go read this thread for more details. Funny thing is, this is apparently the version most Europeans have always seen, and no one on either side of the Atlantic was ever the wiser, at least according to all the books I've seen. It's not the lost print of Ambersons, but it's good news nonetheless. And, both versions are available on DVD in Europe; the American release print is on the French DVD (titled Voyage au Pays de la Peur), and the alternate cut is on the Spanish DVD, which is under the title Estambul. You can view this thread for my rundown of what I saw while in Locarno as well. My thanks to Stefan Drössler and the folks at the festival for inviting me, and running an excellent event.
One of the notable side projects at the festival was a book printing one of the scripts to Other Side of the Wind (one of at least three versions). The festival has copies remaining, and if you wish to purchase one, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also talk of publishing a book based on the workshops done at Locarno, so if you want to see something like that happen, let them know of your interest. The book, in English and French, also has several worthwhile critical articles about both the film and Welles. As it's highly unlikely this will ever be available outside the festival, you are urged to get a copy now if you want one, or pay the going rate on eBay whenever they crop up there.
On the French DVD info site dvdfr.com, there is a new listing for a DVD of Falstaff, streeting in October. To be more precise, a five disc box set, including The Third Man, The Trial, and Falstaff, streets on October 3; the single disc of Falstaff has no date listed, but logic would seem to indicate it would come out the same day. The producer of the disc is given as Studio Canal, who produced the excellent Trial disc, so if this does come to pass (given the neverending legal war over the rights), it will hopefully mean a high quality presentation. One source does list the aspect ratio as 4:3, unlike the Spanish disc's widescreen presentation. In other French DVD news, the second pressing of Magnificent Ambersons does not include the extra features from the first release, so if you want those materials, look for the earlier version.
I will be updating the site over the coming weeks with material and information from Locarno and elsewhere, and one of those updates is the correct dialogue for a good portion of the missing scene from The Trial. I have been given the correct lines direct from Welles' script, and I have used it to correct what I originally took from the book of the film, which was not correct.
JULY 7, 2005: A couple site notes: A transcript of Filming Othello is now on the site, graciously provided by Lawrence French. Also up is a review of Peter Conrad's Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life, with thanks to Harvey Chartrand.
Another DVD release of Hearts of Age is going to be available, as it is included in the August 2 Kino release Avant Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. So if you didn't buy the otherwise lousy Citizen Welles set, pick it up and get a variety of other interesting films as well. The Magnificent Ambersons sees another release in the UK, where it will be part of a box set (and presumably available singly) with Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil.
As we mentioned back in February, the journal Shakespeare Bulletin has published a Welles-themed issue relating to Welles' Shakespearean films. You can visit their site at the link, and view the table of contents, though you'll have to buy a copy from them or check your local university libraries to actually read the essays, which cover Othello and Chimes at Midnight, in addition to a bibliography of Welles' Bardic film work.
In book news, a new French title on The Trial is out (see left), titled simply Le Procès d'Orson Welles, written by Jean-Phillipe Trias. It's published by Cahiers du cinéma / CNDP. Also, I have updated the books sections with most all of the new titles from the last year, as well as related titles brought to my attention. Thanks to all who have emailed with information, as it is appreciated.
MARCH 7, 2005: At long last finished, I've added a lengthy history of the Orson Welles Show, Welles' 1941-42 radio show for Lady Esther Cosmetics.
In television news, Turner Classic Movies will feature Welles during the month of May, presumably to celebrate Welles' 90th birthrday. They're showing all the major films Welles directed and some he acted in, with the exceptions of Filming Othello and Chimes at Midnight, which apparently remains in legal limbo. The schedule is as follows (these are all Wednesdays, EST): May 4: Citizen Kane (8PM); Magnificent Ambersons (10:15 PM); The Lady From Shanghai (12:00 AM); Touch of Evil (1:30 AM). May 11: Tomorrow is Forever (8 PM); Man in the Shadow (10PM); The Tartars (11:30PM); Is Paris Burning? (1AM); Shadowing the Third Man (documentary, 4AM). May 18: Othello (8PM); Mr Arkadin (9:45PM); The Immortal Story (11:30PM); F for Fake (12:45AM); The Trial (2:15AM). May 25: Journey Into Fear (8PM); The Stranger (9:15PM); Casino Royale (11PM); The V.I.P.s (1:15AM).
As noted on the message board, the Tiburon Film Festival in San Francisco is featuring a tribute to Welles, with Gary Graver and Joseph McBride appearing to introduce F for Fake. Showtime is March 12, 2005, at 7:30 PM.
FEBRUARY 28, 2005: No news like severely old news...In a post on the Yahoo "a film by" newsgroup, Jonathan Rosenbaum stated that he and fellow Welles scholar James Naremore would be recording a commentary to Mr. Arkadin, specifically the version referred to as the "Corinth version," which is thought to adhere best to Welles' intentions. More about this on the message board. As you may have probably seen as well, the official announcement for Criterion's F for Fake disc surfaced, and the extras include: commentary by Gary Graver and Oja Kodar, a documentary on Elmyr de Hory, and the One Man Band documentary, though exactly which version of it is unclear as yet. Release date is April 26. You can order it here. The Times (UK) had an article about Other Side of the Wind finally, possibly seeing completion some time in the next year or so, but as always, we'll see. It seems like they recycle the same article once or twice a year, tweak it a bit, and then print it. You can see the article on the message board in this thread.
In scholarship-related matters, the journal Shakespeare Bulletin, which incorporates the Shakespeare on Film Newsletter, will have a special issue dedicated to Welles and his cinematic explorations of the Bard's work, coming out this spring or thereabouts. Look for it at your better university libraries, or visit their site.
This August will see a major Welles retrospective at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. This is scheduled to include most of Welles' unfinished work, so they say. More details as we receive them.
I received word of the American Century Theater's production of Moby Dick Rehearsed, the pertinent details I was sent being: The production returns on March 24, 2005. The play is again directed by Jack Marshall. Tickets are $18-$26. Moby Dick Rehearsed is at Theater II, Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Call 703-553-8782 or visit www.americancentury.org.
After starting "The Orson Welles Almanac" section off in December with the Jack Moss piece, it of course came to pass that I simply didn't have enough time to finish the next one to continue on that monthly basis. But this month (albeit the final day of said month), we have an almanac, looking at the radio project Welles almost produced in 1947, which would have been titled, appropriately enough, This is Orson Welles.
Oh, and as you may have noticed, all of 2004's news has been moved to the archives. Also, I'm in the process of re-designing the site, and some links will change. So if you try clicking a link and it doesn't work, don't bother emailing me, as I probably either already know or am in the process of getting around to it. As the site approaches its four year anniversary, I wanted a new look that streamlines some of the pointlessly conoluted navigation on the site. And hopefully it'll be more pleasant to look at, too. Finally, I have added new links below for the various recent Welles items you can buy at Amazon, and in doing so, support the site. Thanks as always for reading.
JANUARY 25, 2005: As noted on the message board and various other places on the Web, Amazon let slip a couple Criterion releases in April, one of which is, at long last, F for Fake. The Amazon info lists the release as a 2 disc set, which of course sets the mind to wondering what exactly they have cooked up for the bonus material. Perhaps Confidential Report on the second disc? Until there's an official announcement though, we'll keep our fingers crossed. Go ahead and order it now by clicking this F for Fake on DVD link, though. More site updates on the way by the end of the week.
AMAZON LINKS for Recent Welles Items:
|F for Fake DVD||Medium & the Magician (OW radio bk)|
|Despite the System (Heylin)||Citizen Kane: A Casebook (ed. Naremore)|
|Walking Shadows (Walsh)||Being Rita Hayworth|
|It's All True DVD||What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? (McBride)|