Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

May 2015 Spotlight: Orson Welles


TopBilled
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 2 months later...

According to this article (http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1083885%7C0/Orson-Welles-Fridays-in-May.html), the Orson Welles spotlight will be hosted by David Edelstein.

 

The film critic for New York magazine, Edelstein previously appeared as a guest on TCM during a critics' choice festival some years ago. He also filled in during Robert Osborne's leave of absence in 2011, and hosted TCM's Francois Truffaut spotlight in July, 2013.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems with Orson Welles, people either really like him or don't.  I, for one, love him.  I think he was ahead of his time with his films.  I love The Lady From Shanghai and I thought The Stranger was really great too.  He's even good in films where he's just an actor, like Tomorrow is Forever with Claudette Colbert and The Third Man.  His Harry Lime character in The Third Man is fascinating and has one of the best entrances of all time.  Sometimes I think The Third Man is an Orson Welles film.  I forget that he only appeared in it as an actor. 

 

Orson Welles seems like he'd be really intense in person.  Which might be the case as I believe that is part of the reason his relationship with Rita Hayworth fell apart.  However, he also seems like he's hilarious as seen in his appearance on The Dick Cavett Show

 

I really like Welles and it's a shame that so many of his films fell victim to over-zealous film editors and producers.  I would have loved to see Welles' version of The Magnificent Ambersons and The Lady From Shanghai

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems with Orson Welles, people either really like him or don't.  I, for one, love him.  I think he was ahead of his time with his films.  I love The Lady From Shanghai and I thought The Stranger was really great too.  He's even good in films where he's just an actor, like Tomorrow is Forever with Claudette Colbert and The Third Man.  His Harry Lime character in The Third Man is fascinating and has one of the best entrances of all time.  Sometimes I think The Third Man is an Orson Welles film.  I forget that he only appeared in it as an actor. 

 

Orson Welles seems like he'd be really intense in person.  Which might be the case as I believe that is part of the reason his relationship with Rita Hayworth fell apart.  However, he also seems like he's hilarious as seen in his appearance on The Dick Cavett Show

 

I really like Welles and it's a shame that so many of his films fell victim to over-zealous film editors and producers.  I would have loved to see Welles' version of The Magnificent Ambersons and The Lady From Shanghai

 

Unless you have seen unedited versions of these films (which you haven't since they don't exist as far as I know) how can you say it is a shame that they 'fell victim to over-zealous film editors and producers'.

 

Welles was known to be too full of himself and his work needed to be edited otherwise his films would all be longer than Gone With the Wind.   Even The Beatles needed George Martin.   As discussed in a thread about The Lady From Shanghai,   IMO tighter editing would have made this film a better film.   Sometimes the POV of 'the director always knows best' is overrated when it comes to the editing process.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you have seen unedited versions of these films (which you haven't since they don't exist as far as I know) how can you say it is a shame that they 'fell victim to over-zealous film editors and producers'.

 

Welles was known to be too full of himself and his work needed to be edited otherwise his films would all be longer than Gone With the Wind.   Even The Beatles needed George Martin.   As discussed in a thread about The Lady From Shanghai,   IMO tighter editing would have made this film a better film.   Sometimes the POV of 'the director always knows best' is overrated when it comes to the editing process.   

Robert Wise (editor turned director) basically said the same thing, when RKO had him recut THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. They were forced to cut things that didn't make sense to preview audiences, probably because Welles had intended to go back and shoot more transitional scenes before he was pulled off the project. From our modern day vantage point, it would be nice to see the cut footage. But we have no way of knowing whether or not Wise's edited version is worse than what Welles had done up to that point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you have seen unedited versions of these films (which you haven't since they don't exist as far as I know) how can you say it is a shame that they 'fell victim to over-zealous film editors and producers'.

 

Welles was known to be too full of himself and his work needed to be edited otherwise his films would all be longer than Gone With the Wind.   Even The Beatles needed George Martin.   As discussed in a thread about The Lady From Shanghai,   IMO tighter editing would have made this film a better film.   Sometimes the POV of 'the director always knows best' is overrated when it comes to the editing process.   

I was just meaning that it would have been nice to have seen (or have the ability to see) Welles' original version of his films.  Without the uncut version to compare the theatrical version to, who's to say that Welles' version was too long and tedious and that the studio's edited version was better? Maybe the studio's version is better and Welles' version was boring and made no sense.  However, we'll never know because the studio took it upon themselves to edit Welles' films behind his back.  Perhaps if the editing had been more of a collaborative process, there would have been a different outcome, or, if Welles' ego got in the way, we may have been left with the same result.

 

There's no way to ever know though because the deleted footage is gone. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just meaning that it would have been nice to have seen (or have the ability to see) Welles' original version of his films.  Without the uncut version to compare the theatrical version to, who's to say that Welles' version was too long and tedious and that the studio's edited version was better? Maybe the studio's version is better and Welles' version was boring and made no sense.  However, we'll never know because the studio took it upon themselves to edit Welles' films behind his back.  Perhaps if the editing had been more of a collaborative process, there would have been a different outcome, or, if Welles' ego got in the way, we may have been left with the same result.

 

There's no way to ever know though because the deleted footage is gone. 

 

I agree that the best process is a collaborative one between the producer(s) and the director.    But based on what I have read about Welles I don't think that could have happened and therefore the producers had to take a heavy hand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that the best process is a collaborative one between the producer(s) and the director.    But based on what I have read about Welles I don't think that could have happened and therefore the producers had to take a heavy hand.

...take a heavy hand to a heavy man.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Premieres Fri., 5-1

a long sought 'lost film'

 

Article: http://brightlightsfilm.com/too-much-johnson-orson-welles-film-recovering-orson-welless-dream-of-early-cinema/#.VUL-w5MXbIU

 

2:00 am ET
B/W
40 min
comedy

Disaster follows a man's discovery that he has a romantic rival.

DirOrson Welles CastEdgar Barrier , Joseph Cotten , Virginia Nicholson .

 

220px-TooMuchJohnson.jpg

 

"....a 1938 American silent comedy film written and directed by Orson Welles. The film was made three years before Welles directed Citizen Kane, but it was never publicly screened. The film was shot to be integrated into Welles's Mercury Theatre stage presentation of William Gillette's 1894 comedy, but the motion picture sequences could not be shown due to the absence of projection facilities at the venue, the Stony Creek Theatre in Connecticut. The resulting plot confusion contributed to the stage production's failure.

The film was believed to be lost, but in 2008 a print was discovered in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy.[1][2] The film premiered Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival.[2] In 2014 the film was made available online by the National Film Preservation Foundation.[3]"

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Did I just see David Edelstein describe Chimes at Midnight as "inarguably Welles' masterpiece?"   I'm about halfway through it, but, so far, I think "fascinating mess" is a better description.  Welles is a perfect Falstaff, but the slapdash filmmaking, especially the looping, is really throwing me off.  (Edelstein tries to rationalize that these filmmaking errors actually make the film aesthetically better, but I'm not buying it.) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did I just see David Edelstein describe Chimes at Midnight as "inarguably Welles' masterpiece?"   I'm about halfway through it, but, so far, I think "fascinating mess" is a better description.  Welles is a perfect Falstaff, but the slapdash filmmaking, especially the looping, is really throwing me off.  (Edelstein tries to rationalize that these filmmaking errors actually make the film aesthetically better, but I'm not buying it.) 

I agree the casting is perfect.

 

Probably Edelstein said 'masterpiece' because Welles himself said it was inarguably his best film (but Welles also said that about THE TRIAL). And Welles was often wrong about things. LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree the casting is perfect.

 

Probably Edelstein said 'masterpiece' because Welles himself said it was inarguably his best film (but Welles also said that about THE TRIAL). And Welles was often wrong about things. LOL

I think it's the use of the word "inarguable" that's making me mad.    For one thing, I believe that almost any subject is open to debate.  And since a consensus agrees that Citizen Kane is one of the two or three greatest movies ever, it's silly to suggest that any other Welles film is "inarguably" better.   It's like saying that Scottie Pippen is "inarguably" the greatest Chicago Bulls player ever, instead of Michael Jordan.   Like many critics, Edelstein has a bad habit of not checking his own hyperboles before saying them out loud.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's the use of the word "inarguable" that's making me mad.    For one thing, I believe that almost any subject is open to debate.  And since a consensus agrees that Citizen Kane is one of the two or three greatest movies ever, it's silly to suggest that any other Welles film is "inarguably" better.   It's like saying that Scottie Pippen is "inarguably" the greatest Chicago Bulls player ever, instead of Michael Jordan.   Like many critics, Edelstein has a bad habit of not checking his own hyperboles before saying them out loud.  

I see what you're saying. But one thing we have to acknowledge is that nowhere in any interview did Welles ever say KANE was his best. I always found it interesting that he didn't seem to dwell on it, the way he did on some of his other productions. Maybe this is because he had so many other noteworthy successes on stage and on the radio that he looked at his movies differently than we do. And maybe he didn't like the limiting control the RKO bosses had over him. So it is possible he felt freer in productions like CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT and THE TRIAL. 

 

Personally, I think his best film is THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI. It strikes just the right balance between commercial studio product and artistic experimentation. And I would rank TOUCH OF EVIL right behind it for the same reasons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I am wondering if anyone agrees with me that the person TCM picked to host the Friday spotlight on Orson Welles...Mr. Edelstein is a jerk ???   I mean...this is 2015 and Welles's 100 birthday...couldnt have TCM picked someone a little more friendly to the memory of Mr. Welles.  Last Night instead of Mr. edelstein critiquing Welles' films he says,  "orson was married to Rita Hayworth at the time but the marriage was failing because Rita was the star and the breadwinner at the time and Welles was fooling around with other ladies...and Welles used the other actors on the set of the film he was on to divert Rita when she showed up on the set to look for Orson"   Then he says...  "actors are nuts"  or something like that.  What a waste of my time to listen to this jerk.  Like he knows why their marriage or anyone's marriage fell apart and what does that have to do with the movie???  Nice work TCM  Maybe for Katharine Hepburn's spotlight you can have one of the children from Spencer Tracy's first marriage host  it  and he/she can critique Ms. Hepburn's film

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wondering if anyone agrees with me that the person TCM picked to host the Friday spotlight on Orson Welles...Mr. Edelstein is a jerk ???   I mean...this is 2015 and Welles's 100 birthday...couldnt have TCM picked someone a little more friendly to the memory of Mr. Welles.  Last Night instead of Mr. edelstein critiquing Welles' films he says,  "orson was married to Rita Hayworth at the time but the marriage was failing because Rita was the star and the breadwinner at the time and Welles was fooling around with other ladies...and Welles used the other actors on the set of the film he was on to divert Rita when she showed up on the set to look for Orson"   Then he says...  "actors are nuts"  or something like that.  What a waste of my time to listen to this jerk.  Like he knows why their marriage or anyone's marriage fell apart and what does that have to do with the movie???  Nice work TCM  Maybe for Katharine Hepburn's spotlight you can have one of the children from Spencer Tracy's first marriage host  it  and he/she can critique Ms. Hepburn's film

I agree. And I would not blame him-- I think the problem is with the staff that writes the wraparound comments these guys read off the Teleprompter. Even Ben's hosting commentary falls into bizarre gossip that often has nothing to do with the film being shown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...