British Universities Film & Video Council

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Filming ‘Othello’

Alternative title
Orson Welles’ Filming ‘Othello’
Synopsis
Television documentary first shown on German television. A record of the filming of Welles’ OTHELLO. The film is re-edited to make the points Welles wishes to make while discussing it. Also included is a reunion lunch party with Hilton Edwards and Michael MacLiammoir where they discuss the film and characterisations. Welles performs two key speeches from the play and the final section is from a Q&A session with film students in Boston after a screening of the film.
Language
English
Country
Germany
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1978
Transmission details
10 Jul 1978
Duration
84 mins
Availability
No archive copy or distributor found (2006)

Credits

Director
Orson Welles
Producer
Jurgen Hellwig; Klaus Hellwig
Cinematographer
Gary Graver
Music
Alberto Barberis; Angelo Francesco
Contributor
Doris Dowling; Fay Compton; Hilton Edwards; Michael Laurence; Micheál MacLiammóir; Nicholas Bruce; Orson Welles; Robert Coote; Suzanne Cloutier

Additional Details

Production type
Documentary/Educational/News
Plays
Othello
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
A full transcription of FILMING OTHELLO, and an interview with cinematographer Gary Graver by Lawrence French, can be read by visiting www.wellesnet.com
General
Welles intended to make a more elaborate film, by including cutaway scenes that would have broken up the monotony of the talking head format. Welles not only planned to illustrate his talk by re-visiting many of the key locations of OTHELLO, he shot several of these sequences, including footage of himself on a motorboat, gliding down the Grand Canal in Venice as he points out the different sites where OTHELLO was originally filmed These sequences would have significantly enhanced the static nature of the film, but it is believed all that footage was lost, after it was placed in the custody of a Spanish producer.
History
Premiered in June 1978 at the Berlin Film Festival. Shown in the 1978 22nd London Film Festival in the Documentary Section. The film’s distribution has been severely restricted prevented in part, it is believed, by a disagreement between its producers and Beatrice Welles, Welles’ daughter.
Reviews
Sight and Sound, vol. 60, Winter 1990/1, p. 51-54. Shakespeare on Film Newsletter vol. 11, no. 2 April 1987, p1,6.

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