Orson Welles: A Retrospective | Ticketed
Production still from Citizen Kane (detail) 1941/ Director: Orson Welles/ Image courtesy: Chapel Distribution
5 April – 28 May 2014 | Australian Cinémathèque | Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) | Ticketed
A retrospective of one of the most influential and charismatic figures in North American cinema.
An acclaimed filmmaker, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, Orson Welles worked extensively in radio, theatre, film and television. Hailed as the new ‘wunderkind of American theatre’ at 23 years of age, he rocketed to international fame for the celebrated 1938 radio adaptation of HG Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds (1898). By 25, he’d co-written, directed and starred in Citizen Kane 1941, a virtuosic achievement nominated for nine Academy Awards and listed by critics as one of the greatest films of all time. A singularly creative force, Welles’ stormy relationship with the major Hollywood studios saw only 12 feature-length films and two documentaries completed in a career that spanned five decades.
This program presents all 12 features as well as his documentary F for Fake 1973, and a selection of Welles' film and television appearances and radio broadcasts.
5-Film pass: 5 tickets to 1 film, or 5 tickets to different films
*Child aged 2–12 years, under 2 years free
+Discount for QAGOMA and Foundation Members
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Free - Cinema A
The Australian Cinémathèque presents three radio broadcasts narrated by Orson Welles; The War of the Worlds 1938 (Sun 13 April 11.00am), The Green Goddess 1939 (Sun 4 May 11.30am) and The Adventures of Harry Lime 1951 (Sun 27 Apr 11.30am).
Best known for his celebrated 1938 radio adaptation of HG Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1898) Welles rich and intelligent delivery gave dramatic urgency to the radio melodramas raising them above the radio fair of the day. Between 1936 -1941 Welles was involved in over one hundred radio productions as writer, actor and director. With the release of Citizen Kane 1941 Welles focused his energies towards film however he continued to lend his voice to productions through to the early 1950s.
QAGOMA 50+ AFTER HOURS
War of the Worlds: Power and legend
5.30pm Tuesday 13 May
The reception of Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds 1938 radio production has been taken up as a powerful emblem of the manipulative power of mass communication; however, Welles’s own intentions surrounding the broadcast have rarely been examined. Join Jason Jacobs, Associate Professor in Film and Television Studies, The University of Queensland, as he explores the role of the broadcast in Welles’s oeuvre and explains why its power and legend continues to resonate today. This program includes a broadcast of War of the Worlds 1938. Bookings required. For more information on the program and how to book, read more.
Sun 18 May 11.00am (With Too Much Johnson) / Cinema A
16MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 8 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTORS: WILLIAM VANCE, ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER/CINEMATOGRAPHER: WILLIAM VANCE / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / EDITOR: MARK ROBSON / CAST: ORSON WELLES, VIRGINIA NICHOLSON, WILLIAM VANCE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: RKO RADIO PICTURES INC, A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES
‘Welles shot his first film in the halls of Todd School in 1934, when he was 19 years old. "...it is typical in its combination of facetiousness, prankish high spirits, and an obsessive fascination with images of mortality...."C Higham, "The Films of Orson Welles" ’ Pacific Film Archive
Please note: This is a free screening with the recent restoration of Too Much Johnson 1938.
Sun 18 May 11.00am (With The Hearts of Age) / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 40 MINUTES (MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES, JOHN HOUSEMAN / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES, WILLIAM GILLETTE / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: PAUL DUNBAR, HARRY DUNHAM / EDITOR: WILLIAM ALLAND, ORSON WELLES, RICHARD WILSON / CAST: JOSEPH COTTEN, VIRGINIA NICHOLSON, EDGAR BARRIER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CINETECA DEL FRIULI, FRIULI
‘Together with the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF), the Cineteca del Friuli, and Cinemazero, George Eastman House announced in August 2013 the recovery of Mercury Theatre's long-lost Too Much Johnson, directed by Orson Welles in 1938. Too Much Johnson was originally intended to be used in conjunction with Welles's stage adaptation of an 1894 play by William Gillette. The Mercury Theatre planned to show the three short films as prologues to each act of the play. The three-part slapstick comedy was meant to be shown with the accompaniment of music and live sound effects, but was never finished.’ George Eastman House
Please note: This is a free screening with Hearts of Age 1934.
Hailed as the new wunderkind of American Theatre at only 23 years of age, Welles rocketed to international fame for his celebrated 1938 radio adaptation of HG Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1898). Presented on the night before Halloween as a music program, with news bulletin-style interjections of an escalating alien invasion, the program caused panic to a listening public already fearful of potential war looming in Europe. Forced to apologise the next day to an onslaught of press outraged at the duplicitous delivery of entertainment as news, Welles survived the media storm and went on to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine the same year and attracted attention from Hollywood.
Following the presentation of The War of the Worlds will be the short broadcast interview by KTSA in San Antonio featuring HG Wells and Orson Welles. Conducted in 1940 two years after the radio adaptation the two luminaries discuss the radio play and Welles’ upcoming first feature film Citizen Kane released in 1941.
Please note: This radio session is free to attend.
Based on a popular 1921 stage play by William Archer, The Green Goddess tells the story of three British citizens whose plane crashes in the isolated realm of Rukh. Ruled by a despotic Raja the three must escape before they are executed. The Green Goddess was adapted to radio by Welles and aired on February 10, 1939. Welles staged a theatrical version in the same year which featured a short film prelude however this footage is now believed lost.
Please note: This radio session is free to attend.
Sat 5 April 6.00pm, Sun 13 April 1.00pm and Wed 21 May 8.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 119 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES, HERMAN J MANKIEWICZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GREGG TOLAND / EDITOR: ROBERT WISE / CAST: ORSON WELLES, JOSEPH COTTEN, DOROTHY COMINGORE / MUSIC: BERNARD HERRMANN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: RKO RADIO PICTURES INC, A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
‘Orson Welles was only 25 when he directed this masterpiece, and it remains one of the most phenomenal motion pictures ever made, the story of fictional news mogul Charles Foster Kane. Trailblazing in so many aspects, from Gregg Toland’s complex camera and lighting to Bernard Herrmann’s score to one of the finest ensemble casts (including Welles) ever assembled. With an Academy Award-winning script by Welles and Herman Mankiewicz.’ American Cinémathèque
Sat 5 April 8.30pm and Sun 20 April 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 88 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / BASED ON THE BOOK BY BOOTH TARKINGTON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: STANLEY CORTEZ / EDITOR: ROBERT WISE / CAST: JOSEPH COTTEN, DOLORES COSTELLO, ANNE BAXTER, TIM HOLT, AGNES MOREHEAD, ORSON WELLES / MUSIC: BERNARD HERRMANN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
‘One of the great tragedies of film history in terms of lost footage, Orson Welles’ ‘compromised’ adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s novel still stands as one of the towering achievements of modern cinema. The film chronicles the decline of the American Dream among members of an upper-class Midwestern family. While severely altered by the studio (RKO removed a third of Welles’ first cut, added a happy ending and destroyed the original material), the film’s powerful performances and visual dynamism remain.’ Harvard Film Archive
Sun 6 April 1.30pm and Sun 20 April 11.30am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 68 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTORS: NORMAN FOSTER, ORSON WELLES (UNCREDITED) / PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES, JOSEPH COTTEN / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ERIC AMBLER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KARL STRUSS / EDITOR: MARK ROBSON / CAST: ORSON WELLES, JOSEPH COTTEN, DOLORES DEL RIO, RUTH WARRICK, EVERETT SLOANE, AGNES MOOREHEAD / MUSIC: ROY WEBB / PRODUCTION COMPANY: RKO RADIO PICTURES INC, A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: EFFIE HOLDINGS / SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM
‘American arms engineer Howard Graham (Joseph Cotten) gets mixed up with gunrunners, Nazis and exotic women in WWII Turkey in this thrilling espionage drama. Although RKO executives interfered with this film almost as much as they did with Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons 1942, the wit of Welles’ and Cotten's script permeates every atmospheric frame.’ American Cinémathèque
Wed 9 April 6.00pm and Sun 25 May 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 97 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: ROBERT STEVENSON / PRODUCER: WILLIAM GOETZ, KENNETH MACGOWAN / SCRIPT: ALDOUS HUXLEY, ROBERT STEVENSON, JOHN HOUSEMAN / BASED ON THE BOOK BY CHARLOTTE BRONTË / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GEORGE BARNES / EDITOR: WALTER THOMPSON / CAST: ORSON WELLES, JOAN FONTAINE, MARGARET O’BRIEN / MUSIC: BERNARD HERRMANN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX / PRINT SOURCE: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS
‘Director Robert Stevenson’s big screen adaptation of Jane Eyre followed in the wake of the blockbuster success of Rebecca in 1940, an event that inspired a whole series of Gothic romances throughout the decade. Joan Fontaine undertakes the role of Jane, a friendless orphan who attempts to make her own way in the world by becoming the governess at gloomy Thornfield Hall. There she encounters its equally gloomy owner, Edward Rochester (Orson Welles), who kindles the flame of passion in Jane’s heart but also harbors a terrible secret that might well prove fatal to their love. Orson Welles gives one of his more entertaining performances as the romantically thwarted Rochester. The Gothic moments of the film are beautifully shot, especially the climactic revelation of Rochester’s secret in the attic.’ Examiner
Wed 9 April 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 105 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH/GERMAN, DIRECTOR: IRVING PICHEL / PRODUCER: DAVID LEWIS / SCRIPT: GWEN BRISTOW, LENORE J COFFEE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOE VALENTINE / EDITOR: ERNEST J NIMS / CAST: CLAUDETTE COLBERT, ORSON WELLES, GEORGE BRENT / MUSIC: MAX STEINER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: INTERNATIONAL PICTURES INC / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS
A home-front drama set in Baltimore during World War One and World War Two, Tomorrow Is Forever follows the lives of Elizabeth (Claudette Colbert) and John (Orson Welles), a married couple separated when John leaves to fight in World War I. When Elizabeth receives notice of John's death, and finds she is pregnant with his child, she marries another (George Brent). John, however, is still alive but disfigured. Unrecognisable after undergoing plastic surgery, he returns to find Elizabeth now happy married but when he finds out about his son, he is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to reveal his true identity.
Sat 12 April 6.00pm and Wed 16 April 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 115 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH/SPANISH, DIRECTOR: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: SAM SPIEGEL / SCRIPT: ANTHONY VEILLER, VICTOR TRIVAS, DECLA DUNNING / BASED ON A STORY BY VICTOR TRIVAS / CINEMATOGRAPHER: RUSSELL METTY / EDITOR: ERNEST J NIMS / CAST: ORSON WELLES, EDWARD G ROBINSON, LORETTA YOUNG, RICHARD LONG / MUSIC: BRONISLAU KAPER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: INTERNATIONAL PICTURES INC, THE HAIG CORPORATION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS
‘G-man Edward G. Robinson has the unholy task of wiping the smile off the face of small-town America in this dark thriller, Orson Welles' much overlooked contribution to the rural-noir sub-genre. Like any self-respecting American town, Harper is centered around its eccentric ancients-a tower whose clock runs backwards when it runs at all, and a merchant-savant who cheats at chess. Nothing to be afraid of, but at the same time, everything's just a little bit off. Probably best that newlywed Loretta Young hang those curtains as she begins life with hubby Orson Welles, college professor and escaped Nazi war criminal. Like Hitchcock's Uncle Charles, Welles tamps down monstrous cynicism with weird charm while the ever-wry Robinson tries to disarm his man-and spare the bride her Shadow of a Doubt. Welles, like Hitchcock, was a Hollywood outsider gleefully exposing the stranger in us all; as in Shadow's Santa Rosa, what is at stake in Harper is innocence itself.’ Pacific Film Archive
Sat 12 April 8.30pm and Wed 16 April 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 92 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH/CANTONESE, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / BASED ON THE SHERWOOD KING NOVEL ‘IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE’ 1938 / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CHARLES LAWTON JR / EDITOR: VIOLA LAWRENCE / CAST: RITA HAYWORTH, ORSON WELLES, EVERETT SLOANE / MUSIC: HEINZ ROEMHELD / PRODUCTION COMPANY: COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS / SCREENING FORMAT: 4K DCP (RESTORATION)
‘Orson Welles turned a mediocre novel into a brilliant film by overturning all the expectations of the crime thriller. Although the film remains an absorbing intrigue—the story of a murder plan that unfolds as a yacht makes its luxurious way along the Pacific—every scene is a showcase for Welles' cinematic inventiveness and the whole adds up to a significant statement on the evils of money lust. Welles pulled a coup by casting himself as a totally sympathetic character, an Irish sailor with humanitarian politics, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, who becomes a pawn in the game of the greedy rich. Then he took the Hollywood heroine, in the form of Rita Hayworth, and systematically destroyed the aura of glamour surrounding her, portraying instead a web of avarice. The film's bravura moments resonate beyond pyrotechnics, especially the magnificent sequences of reflexive cinema in the macabre Hall of Mirrors scene and the confession of love in a ‘fishbowl’ (the San Francisco Aquarium). ’ Pacific Film Archive
Sat 19 April 6.00pm and Sun 4 May 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 107 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/ADAPTATION: ORSON WELLES / FROM WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY ‘MACBETH’ 1606 / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOHN L RUSSELL / EDITOR: LOUIS LINDSAY / CAST: ORSON WELLES, JEANETTE NOLAN, DAN O’HERLIHY, EDGAR BARRIER, RODDY MACDOWALL / MUSIC: JACQUES IBERT / PRODUCTION COMPANY: A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE /RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
‘It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing... These immortal words surely do not apply to one of the most famous works in the English language, nor to Orson Welles' haunting film adaptation. It is a vivid story centered on the twin follies of ambition and desire for mastery over one's destiny - a story of ruthless cruelty and bloody revenge. Lacking the resources he needed to realise his creative vision, Welles was compelled to make drastic economies, and in so doing conjures up a world that has an unnatural, dream-like feel - redolent of Jean Cocteau - but filmed with the raw primitiveness of Eisenstein, an approach that emphasises the supernatural elements of the story and the brutal time in which it is set. As in a German expressionist film, characters are dwarfed by their surroundings, angled shots and aggressive cutting create a disorientating sense of a world in turmoil and moral decay. And everywhere there is a cold lingering mist, dark menacing shadows, an all-pervading sense of doom, and sounds, shrill and stark, that echo deep within our conscious thought.’ James Travers 2007, Films de France
Sat 19 April 8.00pm and Sun 27 April 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 104 MINUTES, UK, ENGLISH/GERMAN/RUSSIAN, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: CAROL REED / SCRIPT: GRAHAM GREENE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ROBERT KRASKER / EDITOR: OSWALD HAFENRICHTER / CAST: ORSON WELLES, JOSEPH COTTEN, ALIDA VALLI, TREVOR HOWARD / MUSIC: ANTON KARAS / PRODUCTION COMPANY: CAROL REED’S PRODUCTION, A LONDON FILM PRODUCTION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION
‘Based on an original screenplay by Graham Greene, this Carol Reed classic epitomizes the aesthetics of film noir. Amid the lurid decadence of a shell-shocked, post-war Vienna, a lonely American (Joseph Cotten) searches for his maligned friend, a mysterious 'third man' in a city of rampant deceit and corruption. The film’s famous haunting score, shadowy cinematography, and top-notch performances (notably Welles as the utterly immoral Harry Lime) make this one of the most memorable tales of intrigue in film history. Robert Krasker won an Academy Award for his cinematography.’ Harvard Film Archive
A spin-off radio series based on the film The Third Man 1949, Welles recreates his duplicitous character Harry Lime depicting the many misadventures of the perpetually broke con-man. Designed as a prequel to the film the episodes begin with a gunshot and the opening line by Welles ‘That was the shot that killed Harry Lime…’ Episode 37, Man of Mystery aired on 11 April 1952, was written by Welles who later utilised the scrip as the framework for his 1955 film Mr Arkadin.
Please note: This radio session is free to attend.
Sat 26 April 6.00pm And Sun 11 May 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 90 MINUTES, USA/ITALY/MOROCCO/FRANCE, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES / ADAPTATION: JEAN SACHA, ORSON WELLES / FROM WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY ‘OTHELLO’ YEAR / CINEMATOGRAPHER: G R ALDO, ANCHISE BRIZZI, GEORGE FANTO, ALBERTO FUSI, OBERDAN TROIANI / EDITOR: JENÖ CSEPREGHY, RENZO LUCIDI, WILLIAM MORTON, JEAN SACHA / CAST: ORSON WELLES, MICHEÁL MACLIAMMÓIR, ROBERT COOTE, HILTON EDWARDS, FAY COMPTON / MUSIC: FRANCESCO LAVAGNINO, ALBERTO BARBERIS / PRODUCTION COMPANY: A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES, LES FILMS MARCEAU / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA
‘Othello reveals a looser, less structured, more poetic side of Welles’ film making to those only familiar with his Hollywood productions. Structured as an investigation, or perhaps as an explanation, of Othello’s downfall, Welles’ adaptation is unusual in its focus on interactions between Othello (played by Welles) and Iago (Michéal MacLiammoir). Using bold, energetic images juxtaposed in an Eisensteinian fashion, Welles eloquently gives visual form to the twisted emotions that characterize Iago and Othello’s relationship. Under Welles’ direction, the destructive power of ambition cannot be contained indoors, and much of the story erupts outdoors, with the wind pounding the bluffs, shrieking gulls diving over the sea, the hot Moroccan sun alternating with thunder and lightning. “...Welles never made a more coherent and beautiful film; the lucid, dashing, vibrant style has seldom been so perfectly webbed to its subject” (Charles Higham, The Films of Orson Welles). ’ Pacific Film Archive
Sat 26 April 8.00pm and Wed 30 April 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 93 MINUTES, FRANCE/SPAIN/SWITZERLAND, ENGLISH/GERMAN/FRENCH/POLISH, DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: LOUIS DOLIVET, ORSON WELLES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JEAN BOURGOIN / EDITOR: RENZO LUCIDI / CAST: ORSON WELLES, ROBERT ARDEN, PAOLA MORI, MICHAEL REDGRAVE / MUSIC: PAUL MISRAKI / PRODUCTION COMPANY: FILM ORGANISATION S A, CERVANTES FILMS, SEVILLA FILMS, BAVARIA FILM, A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA / RIGHTS: HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS
‘Orson Welles' famous quip that motion pictures are "the biggest electric train set a boy ever had" is embraced by Confidential Report [Mr Arkadin], a dizzying whatsit stuffed with inventive camera tricks, hallucinatory images, and playful narrative bombast. Darting across Europe as fast as his debtors chased him, Welles concocted this pulpy tale of an American cigarette smuggler (Robert Arden) battling—get ready—a Polish baroness, white slavers, an Amsterdam fence, a Copenhagen flea-circus trainer, and the shadowy Gregory Arkadin (Welles), a secretive financier whose "amnesia" hides a more sinister truth. But as with all toys and baubles, it's not the structure that matters—in fact, control was taken from Welles in the editing of the film—but the joy it gives, and Confidential Report [Mr Arkadin] is Welles reveling in all the unbound pleasures that motion pictures can provide. "A film, which, for all its strangeness, is seldom less than brilliant" (New York Times), this magician's tale was named one of the top twelve films of all time in a 1958 Cahiers du Cinéma poll.’ Jason Sanders, Pacific Film Archive
Wed 23 April 6.00pm / Cinema B
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, MONO, 134 MINUTES (5 X 26 MIN EPISODES), UK, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/HOST: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: LOUIS DOLIVET / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALAIN POL / MUSIC: JACQUES CARRÈRE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ASSOCIATED RÉDIFFUSION, ITA-TV / PRINTS/RIGHTS: HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
‘Directed in 1955 as a series for British television, Welles leads us around Europe introducing famous artists and cultural highlights. Episodes include ‘Pays Basque I & II’, ‘St.-Germain-des-Prés’, ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ and ‘Madrid Bullfight.’ Hollywood Classics
Please note: Orson Welles' Sketchbook 1955 will no longer screen in the program. This screening will now feature Welles' television series Around The World With Orson Welles 1955.
Wed 30 April 8.00pm and Sat 17 May 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 116 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: JOHN HUSTON / SCRIPT: RAY BRADBURY, JOHN HUSTON / BASED ON THE HERMAN MELVILLE NOVEL ‘MOBY DICK’ 1851 / CINEMATOGRAPHER: OSWALD MORRIS / EDITOR: RUSSELL LLOYD / CAST: GREGORY PECK, RICHARD BASEHART, LEO GENN, ORSON WELLES / MUSIC: PHILIP SAINTON / PRODUCTION COMPANY: A MOULIN PICTURE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS
‘John Huston's 1956 Moby Dick remains admirably faithful to its source. "Call me Ishmael" declares itinerant whaler Richard Basehart as the opening credits fade. Though slightly intimidated by the sermon delivered by Father Mapple (Orson Welles in a brilliant one-take cameo), who warns that those who challenge the sea are in danger of losing their souls, Ishmael nonetheless signs on to the Pequod, a whaling ship captained by the brooding, one-legged Ahab (Gregory Peck). For lo these many years, Ahab has been engaged in an obsessive pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white whale to whom he lost his leg. Ahab's dementia spreads throughout the crew members, who maniacally join their captain in his final, fatal attack upon the elusive, enigmatic Moby Dick.’ Hal Erickson
Sat 3 May 6.00pm and Sun 18 May 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 93 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH/SPANISH, DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: ALBERT ZUGSMIITH / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY WHIT MASTERSON ‘BADGE OF EVIL’ 1956 / CINEMATOGRAPHER: RUSSELL METTY / EDITOR: AARON STELL, VIRGIL W VOGEL / CAST: ORSON WELLES, CHARLTON HESTON, JANET LEIGH, MARLENE DIETRICH, JOSEPH CALLEIA, AKIM TAMIROFF, DENNIS WEAVER, RAY COLLINS, MERCEDES MCCAMBRIDGE / MUSIC: HENRY MANCINI / PRODUCTION COMPANY: UNIVERSAL PICTURES INTERNATIONAL / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
‘With its celebrated opening sequence—required viewing for each new generation of cineaste—Orson Welles’s final American studio production is a minor masterpiece of genre film making and a dramatic tour-de-force unmatched in his truncated career. Set on the Mexican border during a tense period in the drug war, this taut tale of corruption and deceit invests the police procedural with a prescient examination of ethnic, class, and political differences. Beneath the suspense, Welles crafts a frightening portrait of personal degradation in his singular role as the dissolute police chief still nursing a passion for an aging bar-girl, memorably played by Marlene Dietrich.’ Harvard Film Archive
Sat 3 May 8.00pm and Wed 7 May 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 118 MINUTES, FRANCE/WEST GERMANY/ITALY, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: ALEXANDER SALKIND / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY FRANZ KAFKA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: EDMOND RICHARD / EDITOR: YVONNE MARTIN, FREDERICK MULLER / CAST: ANTHONY PERKINS, ORSON WELLES, JEANNE MOREAU, ROMY SCHNEIDER, ELSA MARTINELLI, AKIM TAMIROFF / MUSIC: JEAN LEDRUT, ALBINONI / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PARIS-EUROPA PRODUCTIONS, HISA-FILM, FINANZIARIA CINEMATOGRAFICA ITALIANA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION
‘Hailed as a masterpiece by European critics, The Trial is arguably Welles’s finest film after Citizen Kane (and with Kane, the only other film over which he exercised complete creative control). Welles’s rendition of Franz Kafka’s nightmarish story of a man arrested for a crime that is never explained to him is entirely faithful to the novel, even with the necessary transpositions made to update the action. Anthony Perkins portrays Josef K, a sensitive, ‘twitchy’ individual pursued by a repressive bureaucracy, obsessed by an undefined guilt, and bewildered by the burden of living. Replete with unforgettably baroque, expressionistic imagery, The Trial evokes a caustic vision of the modern world, where implausible events seem like everyday occurrences.’ Harvard Film Archive
Sun 11 May 11.30am (with An Evening with Orson Welles ‘The Golden Honeymoon’) / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 27 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES, JOHN COLLIER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SIDNEY HICKOX / EDITOR: BUD MOLIN / HOST: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCTION COMPANY: DESILU PRODUCTIONS, ORSON WELLES ENTERPRISES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL BETACAM
‘In 1956, Orson Welles wrote, directed, produced, hosted, narrated and served as production designer and musical arranger for a series pilot called The Fountain of Youth. Though the series never sold, the 30-minute comedy ended up winning a Peabody Award. Rick Jason, Joi Lansing and Dan Tobin star in this wryly amusing tale about love and the search for eternal youth. But the real star of the show is Welles, who serves as narrator of the stylistic comedy, which features manipulative lighting, fake backdrops, stills and dialogue interwoven with the narration.’ LA Times
Sat 10 May 6.00pm and Wed 14 May 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 115 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: MARTIN RITT / PRODUCER: JERRY WALD / SCRIPT: IRVING RAVETCH, HARRIET FRANK JR, WILLIAM FAULKNER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSEPH LASHELLE / EDITOR: LOUIS R LOEFFLER / CAST: PAUL NEWMAN, JOANNE WOODWARD, ANTHONY FRANCIOSA / MUSIC: ALEX NORTH / PRODUCTION COMPANY: JERRY WALD PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS
‘The Long, Hot Summer is a simmering story of life in the Deep South, steamy with sex and laced with violence and bawdy humour. Although the setting is Mississippi, race relations play no part; it is instead a kind of Peyton Place with the locale shifted from New England to the warmer climate and – apparently – hotter-blooded citizens. It is about a young Mississippi redneck (Paul Newman) who has a reputation for settling his grudges by setting fire to the property of those he opposes. This notoriety follows him when he drifts into the town owned and operated by Orson Welles, a gargantuan character who has reduced the town to sniveling peonage; his one son (Anthony Franciosa) to the point where he seeks perpetual escape in the love of his pretty wife (Lee Remick); and, by his tactics, frozen his daughter (Joanne Woodward) into a premature old maid. Welles senses immediately in Newman a fellow predator and they set to trying to outdo each other in villainy and connivance. Scriptwriters have done a phenomenal job of putting together elements of stories that are actually connected only by their core of atmosphere, Faulkner’s preoccupation with the rising redneck moneyed class and their dominance of the former aristocracy. There are still holes in the screenplay but director Martin Ritt slams over them so fast that you are not aware of any vacancies until you are past them. It is melodrama frank and unashamed. It may be preposterous but it is never dull.’ Variety
Sat 10 May 8.30pm and Wed 14 May 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 103 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: RICHARD FLEISCHER / PRODUCER: RICHARD D ZANUCK / SCRIPT: RICHARD MURPHY / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY MEYER LEVIN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: WILLIAM C MELLOR / EDITOR: WILLIAM REYNOLDS / CAST: ORSON WELLES, DEAN STOCKWELL, DIANE VARSI, BRADFORD DILLMAN / MUSIC: LIONEL NEWMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: DARRYL F ZANUCK PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS
'The first of the modern ‘thrill killers,’ Leopold and Loeb (here named Straus and Steiner) were young men of privilege whose assumed superiority convinced them they could commit the perfect crime. If ‘perfect’ meant notoriety and a prison sentence, they succeeded. Bradford Dillman plays Artie, the dominant doer of the duo. His submissive counterpart is Judd, played by Dean Stockwell as a fragile malefactor who touts Nietzsche as his intellectual alibi. Director Fleischer focuses on the seething co-dependence of these conceited culprits: Artie’s compulsive criminality plays well off of Judd’s malleable meekness, but beneath the dependence is something else, a lurking libido. Compulsion is compelling as it accumulates evidence surrounding the sensational murder of a teenage boy. When the killers are apprehended and taken to court, Orson Welles walks in as the Clarence Darrow lookalike. In what is thought to be the longest monologue in cinema, a subdued Welles lets loose his argument against capital punishment. ‘Cruelty only breeds cruelty,’ he says of the gas chamber.’ Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive
Sat 17 May 8.30pm and Sun 25 May 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 115 MINUTES, FRANCE/SPAIN/SWITZERLAND, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCERS: ÁNGEL ESCOLANO, EMILIANO PIEDRA, HARRY SALTZMAN / BASED ON THE PLAYS BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ‘HENRY IV, PART I’, ‘HENRY IV, PART II’ AND ‘HENRY V’ AND THE BOOK BY RAPHAEL HOLINSHED ‘CHRONICLES OF ENGLAND, SCOTLANDE, AND IRELANDE’ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: EDMOND RICHARD / EDITOR: ELENA JAUMANDREU, FREDERICK MULLER, PETER PARASHELES / CAST: ORSON WELLES, KEITH BAXTER, JEANNE MOREAU, JOHN GIELGUD, MARGARET RUTHERFORD / MUSIC: ANGELO FRANCESCO, LAVAGNINO / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ALPINE FILMS, INTERNACIONAL FILMS PRINT SOURCE: CINETECA BOLOGNA / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP (RESTORATION)
‘One of the few films over which Orson Welles wielded complete creative control, Chimes at Midnight is a creative, combinatorial adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Even more than a sublime John Gielgud as the guilt-ridden Henry IV and Jeanne Moreau as a lusty Doll Tearsheet, the most fascinating performance comes from Welles himself in a riveting Falstaff that is a classic Welles grotesque – by turns abrasive, gentle, pathetic and boastful. Among Welles’ most moving films, Chimes at Midnight reveals the relationship between Falstaff and Prince Hall to be Shakespeare’s nuanced reflection on the difficult gap between political power and its human instrument.’ Harvard Film Archive
Wed 21 May 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 120 MINUTES, UK, ENGLISH/LATIN/SPANISH/FRENCH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: FRED ZINNEMANN / SCRIPT: ROBERT BOLT / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TED MOORE / EDITOR: RALPH KEMPLEN / CAST: PAUL SCOFIELD, WENDY HILLER, LEO MCKERN, ROBERT SHAW, ORSON WELLES, SUSANNAH YORK, VANESSA REDGRAVE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: HIGHLAND FILMS / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA /RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS
‘The setting is probably the most oft-told story in English history: that of Henry VIII’s break with the Pope to form the Church of England, divorce Catherine of Aragon, and marry Anne Boleyn. The focus, however, is not on that tempestuous monarch but on his Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, statesman, philosopher, and devout Catholic, whose refusal to endorse Henry’s move leads inexorably to his beheading. The brilliant actor Paul Scofield infuses More with wit and integrity, so that despite a supporting cast including Robert Shaw, Orson Welles and Wendy Hiller, all eyes are on him throughout. A skilful adaptation of Robert Bolt’s stage success, A Man for All Seasons shows director Fred Zinnemann’s protagonist has been a prisoner of conscience holding out against the brutal pragmatists of this world. ’ Pacific Film Archive
Sat 24 May 6.00pm and Wed 28 May 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 58 MINUTES, FRANCE, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: MICHELINE ROZAN / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES, LOUISE DE VILMORIN / BASED ON A NOVEL BY KAREN BLIXEN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: WILLY KURANT / EDITOR: CLAUDE FARNY, FRANÇOISE GARNAULT, YOLANDE MAURETTE, MRCELLE PLUET / CAST: ORSON WELLES, JEANNE MOREAU, ROGER COGGIO, NORMAN ASHLEY / MUSIC: ERIK SATIE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ALBINA PRODUCTIONS S.A.R.L., OFFICE DE RADIODIFFUSION TÉLÉVISION FRANÇAISE / SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM
‘Though shot for television on a low budget, this is a sumptuous experience, a fairytale-like story, taken from Isak Dinesen, of a wealthy Macao merchant (Welles) who hires a young sailor to sleep with his wife (actually also hired, since he is unmarried) to make an old legend come true. Basically, it's about the conflict between the cold-blooded realism of the merchant and a romanticism he refuses to accept; and inevitably, the myth turns upon him. Welles is his usual megalomaniac self, and the use of deep focus, deep shadow and colour is superb. The material itself is fascinating, and Erik Satie's music is perfectly chosen.’ Time Out
Sun 11 May 11.30am (with Colgate Theatre: The Fountain of Youth) / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 30 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES, RING LARDNER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GARY GRAVER / EDITOR: MARK ROBSON / CAST: ORSON WELLES / MUSIC: ROY WEBB / PRODUCTION COMPANY: FILMMUSEUM MÜNCHEN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMMUSEUM MÜNCHEN
An Evening with Orson Welles was a series of six short films created in 1970 by Orson Welles, for the exclusive use of Sears, Roebuck & Co. The Australian Cinémathèque presents the only surviving episode The Golden Honeymoon, existent with supplemented audio from the 1946 Mercury Theatre radio play.
Sat 24 May 7.30pm and Wed 28 May 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 89 MINUTES, FRANCE/IRAN/WEST GERMANY, ENGLISH/FRENCH/SPANISH, DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / PRODUCER: DOMINIQUE ANTOINE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: FRANÇOIS REICHENBACH / EDITORS: MARIE-SOPHIE DUBUS, DOMINIQUE ENGERER / CAST: ORSON WELLES, OJA KODAR, JOSEPH COTTEN / MUSIC: MICHEL LEGRAND / PRODUCTION COMPANY: JANUS FILM, SACI / SCREENING FORMAT: DIGITAL CINEMA PROJECTION
‘This playful homage to forgery and illusionism is the last film Orson Welles released before his death. Both a self-portrait and a wry refutation of the auteur principle, its labyrinthine play of paradoxes and ironies creates the cinematic equivalent of an Escher drawing. Described as ‘a vertigo of lies,’ the film itself becomes a kind of fake, for although it bears the signature of its author it was in fact the product of many hands. Starting with some found footage of art forger Elmyr de Hory shot by French documentarist François Reichenbach, Welles transforms the material into an interrogation of the nature of truth and illusion, with stops to revisit his own Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds radio broadcast, detours with Howard Hughes and his hoax biographer Clifford Irving, and a profile of Picasso deceived by love.’ Harvard Film Archive
Wed 7 May 8.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 82 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: ORSON WELLES / SCRIPT: ORSON WELLES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GARY GRAVER / EDITOR: MARK ROBSON / CAST: JOSEPH MCBRIDE, TODD MCCARTHY, MYRON MEISEL / PRODUCTION COMPANY: A MERCURY PRODUCTION BY ORSON WELLES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FILMMUSEUM MÜNCHEN
An unfinished making-of film by Orson Welles, Filming The Trial 1981 is a largely unedited 90-minute question-and-answer session with Welles at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles discussing his feature film The Trial 1962. Intended as similar documentary essay to Filming Othello 1978, Welles was unable to complete Filming the Trial before his death in 1985. The footage was donated to The Munich Film Museum for preservation and the footage was compiled by the Archive into an 82 minute viewing format.
Sun 6 April 11.30am / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 97 MINUTES, FRANCE/USA, PORTUGUESE/ENGLISH, DIRECTORS: BILL KROHN, MYRON MEISEL, ORSON WELLES, RICHARD WILSON, NORMAN FOSTER / PRODUCERS: RÉGINE KONCKIER, BILL KROHN, MYRON MEISEL, JEAN-LUC ORMIÈRES, RICHARD WILSON / SCRIPT: BILL KROHN, RICHARD WILSON, MYRON MEISEL / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: GEORGE FANTO, GARY GRAVER / EDITOR: ED MARX / MUSIC: JORGE ARRIAGADA / PRODUCTION COMPANY: CANAL+, LES FILMS BALENCIAGA , FRENCH MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE, FRENCH NATIONAL CENTER OF CINEMATOGRAPHY, LA FONDATION GAN POUR LE CINÉMA, PARAMOUNT PICTURES, POLYGRAM AUDIOVISUEL, R FILMS, RKO PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS
‘In 1942, in the midst of the editing The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles famously abandoned Los Angeles for Brazil, accepting an RKO contract for a State Department sponsored film project whose goal was to strengthen relationships with the United States' ‘good neighbours’ in Latin America. In the early 1990s, a group of scholars and historians rescued the incredible and previously unseen footage from It’s All True to create this insightful documentary that intertwines Welles' own filmed stories with the fascinating tale of the project's genesis and demise.’ Harvard Film Archive
Wed 23 April 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, MONO, 88 MINUTES, GERMANY/FRANCE/SWITZERLAND, ENGLISH/GERMAN, DIRECTORS: VASSILI SILOVIC, OJA KODAR / PRODUCER: DOMINIQUE ANTOINE, FREDY MESSMER, FRANCOIS WERNER, ROLAND ZAG / SCRIPT: VASSILI SILOVIC, ROLAND ZAG / CINEMATOGRAPHER: THOMAS MAUCH / EDITOR: EWARD G NORRIS, MARIE-JOSÈPHE YOYOTTE / CAST: OJA KODAR, INGRID BERGMAN, TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR / MUSIC: SIMON CLOQUET / PRODUCTION COMPANY: BAYERISCHER RUNDFUNK, INSTITUT NATIONAL DE L'AUDIOVISUEL, LA CINQUIEME BOA FILMPRODUCTION AG ZURICH, LA SEPT-ARTE, MEDIAS RES FILMPRODUKTION, MUNCHEN/BERLIN, MÉDITERRANÉE FILM PRODUCTION
‘This fascinating documentary is almost completely comprised of scenes from Welles' uncompleted films, most of which have never been seen by the public. Though directed by German filmmaker Vassili Silovic, the clips and information were largely provided by Welles' closest associate and long-time companion Oja Kodar. It is she who appears in the first scene as she talks about the great director while driving to the warehouse where many of these unviewed treasures were stored. Film clips included are from The Other Side of the Wind (1970-76), The Deep (1967-69), The Merchant of Venice, The Dreamers, (1980) and even his version of Moby Dick. Also included is the trailer for F for Fake, and several scenes from television films from the '60s. Finally, the film offers rare glimpses of Welles on television performing magic tricks, appearing on a proposed talk show, and appearing on the Muppets. Towards the end, Kodar also shows off some of Welles' drawings and etchings.’ Sandra Brennan, New York Times