fbpx Othello | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series : Orson Welles: The Other Side of the Argument


1955, Orson Welles, Morocco, 91 min.

Show Times

  • Tue, Mar 5th 6:00pm

“This may well be the greatest Shakespeare film...arguably an even more important film in Welles’s career than CITIZEN KANE.”--Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Filmed piecemeal over a period of four years and financed mainly out of the director’s own pocket, OTHELLO marked the beginning of Welles’s career as an independent filmmaker. A model of ingenious low-budget filmmaking, it replaces sets with architecture, making use of stunning locations in Italy and Morocco to provide the frame for some of Welles’s greatest set pieces: the stark, eerie opening funeral; the stormy arrival at Cyprus; the vertiginous murder of Roderigo in a Turkish bath. The cast is dominated by MacLiammóir’s wily, bitter Iago, and the film’s relentless pace matches the momentum of the villain’s opportunistic machinations. The film exists in three different versions (1952, 1955, 1992); we are showing the 1955 U.S./U.K.-release version, whose soundtrack (extensively reworked by Welles after the film's rushed 1952 Cannes premiere) is considered more authentic than that of the 1992 posthumous restoration. Digital video. (MR)

The screening will include a lecture/discussion by renowned critic and Welles authority Jonathan Rosenbaum.

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