The Egyptian Theatre presents a tribute to one of the great auteurs off cinema, Orson Welles. A master of noir, his career was plentiful whether acting or directing. Remarkably he shot his masterpiece CITIZEN KANE when he was only twenty five. Ensure to visit the grand Egyptian Theatre this week in Hollywood for the chance to experience some of Welles' best, and a few of his rarest, work on the big screen;
Orson Welles' talent and imagination were so prodigious that he spanned radio, film, television, books and theater and excelled in them all. His very first film, CITIZEN KANE, is generally considered one of the greatest movies ever made. Loosely inspired by the life of William Randolph Hearst, the film is a brilliant display of unusual lighting and camera angles, innovative use of sound and extended takes - as are such later features as Welles’ film noir masterpieces THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI and TOUCH OF EVIL.
Unfortunately, 1958’s TOUCH OF EVIL was the last time Welles had a major studio in his corner. But that never stopped him from making movies; with the drive and resourcefulness of an independent filmmaker, he continued to create such fascinating work as THE TRIAL, an adaptation of the nightmarish Franz Kafka novel, made inexpensively in Europe. Welles knew how to get the most out of every dollar on a film shoot, and during the last 20 years of his life would often funnel money he’d made as an actor into his cinematic pursuits.
Few men are better acquainted with this period of the director’s career than Stefan Dröessler of the Munich Film Museum, who has restored numerous self-financed Welles projects. Some of these are rather fragmentary, such as scenes shot for uncompleted films like the director’s adaptations of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE or THE DEEP. Much like Welles’ pseudo-documentary F FOR FAKE, these rarities offer a kaleidoscopic look into one of the most brilliant minds in cinema history.
Thu, May 4th 7:30pm
THE TRIAL (1962 / DCP)
L.A Premiere of the new DCP Restoration
Franz Kafka’s classic novel of paranoia and conspiracy seems tailor-made for director Orson Welles. This labyrinthine, deliciously satiric, nightmare vision of a man (Anthony Perkins) accused of an unspecified crime emerges as a subtle allegory of Welles’ own Catch-22 tribulations working in the film industry. With a dream cast that includes Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Akim Tamiroff and Welles himself.
Fri, May 5th 7:30pm
TOUCH OF EVIL (1958 / DCP)
Orson Welles’ hallucinatory, off-kilter masterwork stars Charlton Heston in one of his finest performances as a Mexican policeman trapped on the wrong side of the border, where a corpulent, corrupt cop (Welles) tries to stop him from digging into the past. Janet Leigh co-stars as Heston’s new wife, menaced by leather-clad Mercedes McCambridge and her gang of juvenile delinquents. Co-starring Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Joseph Calleia.
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1948 / DCP)
The camera is the star in one of director Orson Welles’ most phantasmagorical films, a dazzling noir thriller about a seaman, a crippled lawyer and his homicidal wife pursuing one another through a "bright, guilty world" of infidelity, deception and murder. The hall-of-mirrors climax is riveting. With Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane.
Sat, May 6th 7:30pm
ORSON WELLES RARITIES SPECIAL
Presented by the American Cinematheque, the Munich Film Museum and SEEfest
“Orson Welles, Shylock and King Lear,” 100 min. All his life, Orson Welles was fascinated by Shakespeare and tried to bring his plays to a broad audience. This illustrated lecture by Stefan Dröessler of the Munich Film Museum shows different approaches in different media (book, stage, radio, phonograph records, film, TV, video) used by Welles to create “Everybody’s Shakespeare.” It focuses on the plays “The Merchant of Venice” and “King Lear,” which Welles tried to adapt throughout his career. Along with unknown clips, pictures and documents, the 2015 reconstruction of the legendary fragment THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will be shown.
“Orson Welles Rarities,” 100 min. Join us for additional restored films and reconstructed fragments from the Munich Film Museum’s Orson Welles collection. The trailer of the unfinished thriller THE DEEP was digitally restored from the work print recently found in the vaults of Richard L. Bare. Portions of the TV film LONDON have been improved after the discovery of the original script in the Oja Kodar papers held at the University of Michigan. The beautiful screen tests for THE DREAMERS are “the most effective and convincing” of the first Orson Welles restorations done in Munich.
Sun, May 7th 7:30pm
CITIZEN KANE (1941 / DCP)
Orson Welles was only 25 when he directed this masterpiece, and it remains one of the most phenomenal motion pictures ever made. Welles, of course, also stars as Charles Foster Kane, a ruthless man who built a newspaper publishing empire and a character supposedly modeled after the real-life William Randolph Hearst. Trailblazing in so many respects, from Gregg Toland’s complex camera and lighting to Bernard Herrmann’s score to one of the finest ensemble casts (including Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane and Agnes Moorehead) ever assembled. With an Academy Award-winning script by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz.
F FOR FAKE (1974 / 35mm)
Orson Welles appears as "himself" (but which self? Master director? Magician? Media manipulator?) in this delightful essay on the nature of illusion, focusing on all types of fakery and fakers, including notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and fraudulent Howard Hughes biographet forger Elmyr de Hory and fraudulent Howard Hughes biographer Clifford Irving. With Oja Kodar and Peter Bogdanovich.
Program notes by American Cinematheque. Visit them online HERE.