Programmed by Daniel Frankel
(Orson Welles, 1941) · Welles’ first feature film could also be considered the first modern film of the Sound Era and has become the textbook example of what a film can and should be. While Kane’s career in politics is derailed by his outrageous scandals, Welles’s career as auteur was launched. A film about aging and the unreliability of human memory, Kane’s ambition is not simply in its technical perfection or narrative seamlessness, but in its timelessness.
runtime: 119 min format: 35mm
(Orson Welles, 1942) · Before the Royal Tenenbaums, there were the Magnificent Ambersons. The luxe life of the aristocratic clan at the turn of the century is disrupted by the progress of the automobile age, forcing the family to regroup before it fades away. After test screenings deemed the film to be too melancholy, RKO Pictures shortened the film, reshot the ending, and conducted re-edits without Welles. While not the film Welles intended, the first 2/3 are legendary.
runtime: 88 min format: 35mm
(Orson Welles, 1958) · Charlton Heston abandons his honeymoon to investigate the explosion of a car bomb north of the Mexican border. Welles's iconic performance as police chief Hank Quinlan brings more than just a touch of sinister to the proceedings. Welles' last American production may also be the last great film noir of its era. Unappreciated in the US at its time of release, what once was thought of as campy pulp is now analyzed frame-by-frame for its technical mastery.
runtime: 95 min format: 35mm
(Orson Welles, 1962) · Fresh off of his role in Psycho, Anthony Perkins stars as mid-level bureaucrat Josef K., a man arrested and persecuted for an unknown crime in an unknown location. Welles's adaptation of Kafka's classic novel offers a return to the director's expressionist roots as we systematically follow Josef K. through surreal sets and even more surreal ordeals. After completing the film, Welles declared The Trial to be the finest film he had ever made.
runtime: 118 min format: DCP
(Jack Arnold, 1957) · At a time in his career when no studio would hire Welles to direct, he turned to acting to finance his own projects, and Welles accepted the role of wealthy land baron Virgil Renchler in this modern-day Western noir. In this allegory of Fascism and corruption, an earnest sheriff (Jeff Chandler) investigates the brutal murder of a Mexican laborer. The tyrannical rancher Renchler is his first suspect and the inevitable showdown between good and evil ensues.
runtime: 80 min format: DCP
(Orson Welles, 1947) · Welles as a seaman (and aspiring writer) finds himself caught in the crossfires of a murder plot with the eponymous seductress Elsa and her unscrupulous husband (a lawyer no less). The legendary climax in the Hall of Mirrors is only one of the many breathtaking sequences. True to the film's doomed love story, Welles was mid-divorce with star Rita Hayworth during filming, lending an intimate irony to this film noir with hints of black comedy.
runtime: 87 min format: DCP
(Orson Welles, 1965) · Welles combines elements of Shakespeare's Henry IV plays and retells them from Falstaff's perspective, casting himself as the larger-than-life companion of Prince Hal (a role that perfectly matched Welles's ample-sized persona). As one of Welles's masterpieces of his later years, Chimes serves as an autobiographical testament and meditation on power and loyalty. A rarely seen gem that laments the languishing forces of love and death.
runtime: 115 min format: 35mm
(Orson Welles, 1968) · Mr. Clay, a fading Portugese merchant, lives alone in Macao and can afford anything. Timeworn and lonely, he hires a handsome sailor to reenact a tall tale of the seven seas with Clay's make-believe wife (Jeanne Moreau). However, some stories are not meant to be brought to life. This adaptation of an Isak Dinesen story is certainly not one of those -- Welles frames dulcet deep-focus imagery beautifully in his first color film.
runtime: 60 min format: 35mm
(Orson Welles, 1952) · There was once a Moor in Venice named Othello. He has it all: a well-respected job, a beautiful wife, and a deeply resentful underling. Tricked into believing in his wife's infidelity, Othello unravels. Though the shoot of the film was fragmented over the course of three years, this restoration of Othello maintains Welles' ragged take on the tragedy. A natural follow-up to the The Lady from Shanghai, Welles repeats his role as the fall guy. Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.
runtime: 90 min format: 35mm
(Orson Welles, 1948) · Welles's directorial career was launched by the success of his first professionally staged play: an African-American production of the Scottish play set in Haiti. His cinematic return to the material took just as many creative liberties and proved to be just as innovative. Shot in just over three weeks on B-movie sets, Welles underscores the darkness of the tragedy through intense shadowing, extensive low-angles, and unnerving pre-recorded dialogue.
runtime: 87 min format: 35mm35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive; restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.