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Filming 'Othello' (1978)

Essay film shot for TV including Orson Welles reflections on Othello close to the Moviola, a chat with Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir and fragments of a conversation with the audience in Boston after a screening of the film.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Host / Othello
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Desdemona (archive footage)
Robert Coote ...
Roderigo (archive footage)
Hilton Edwards ...
Brabantio (archive footage)
Micheál MacLiammóir ...
Iago (archive footage)
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Storyline

"Il vero cineasta è colui che sa dominare le catastrofi !". Partendo da questa affermazione, Orson Welles spiega le ragioni, i tempi ed i modi della realizzazione di uno dei suoi capolavori, l'OTHELLO, appunto. Ora parlando con due degli interpreti, ora spiegando l'importanza del montaggio cinematografico ad un gruppo di studenti di Boston, ora parlando da solo davanti ad una moviola. Più che un semplice documentario (prodotto dalla televisione tedesca), è un film sul mettere a nudo il proprio "mestiere di regista" da parte dell'inventore del cinema moderno. Written by rosebud6

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July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cómo se hizo Otelo  »

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Trivia

Welles reportedly shot a few scenes of him traveling in Venice explaining his Othello. This footage has been lost. See more »

Connections

Features Othello (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderful, gentle coda to a boistrous film career.
19 February 2004 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

A wonderful, private oration with Orson Welles for once talking about his vast visual artistry and visual imagery. Welles always shied away from discussing such things, that his fans would have much loved to hear. During his conversations with Peter Bogdanovich which became "This is Orson Welles," he speaks as if his visual style never had any thematic significance. It is wonderful to hear him finally talk about style and vindicate one for taking such joy in his visual motifs.

In the second half of the movie, Welles discusses the elements of the film which were dictated by practicality and necessity. Welles had to procure the funds for his Othello entirely himself, either from being paid to appear in other mens' movies, or from the odd backer who would contribute not nearly enough money. This meant production had to keep stopping and relocating across the world. Orson Welles was the first person in the history of cinema to make a movie not attached to a certain studio or even country! When it came to the Cannes film festival, Welles was stuck with what country to say the movie was of! He chose Morrocco for convenience, ironically where the character Othello was originally from. This makes Orson Welles' Othello the very first independent film, and Welles went on to become the founder of the independent film movement.

Also included is a reunion luncheon party with Hilton Edwards (Desdemona's father) and Michael Macliammoir (Iago). Following, Welles further discusses the play of Othello, performs a couple of key speeches from the play. The final segment is from a question time after a screening of Othello to film students.

As always, hearing Orson talk is marvellous to listen to. A wonderful, gentle coda to a boistrous film career.


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