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Orson Welles’s Shakespeare Films on the Big Screen This April in Basel

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.147  Wednesday, 4 April 2012

 

From:        Matthias Heim < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 4, 2012 8:02:30 AM EDT

Subject:    Orson Welles’s Shakespeare Films on the Big Screen This April in Basel

 

A small cinema in Switzerland, the Stadtkino Basel, is currently screening a retrospective of Orson Welles’ work, and they will screen all three of Welles’s adaptations of Shakespeare plays from 35mm-prints, (except Macbeth, which will use a 16mm print).

 

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (FALSTAFF) will be shown on FRI 20.4 2012 15:15, MON 23.4 2012 21:00, and FRI 27.4 2012 20:00 (in English, with French subtitles)

 

MACBETH will be shown on MON  09.4 2012 15:15, WED 11.4 2012 21:00, and SUN 15.4 2012 13:00 (in English, with French and German subtitles)

 

THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO: THE MOOR OF VENICE will be shown on THU  05.4 2012 21:00, SUN  08.4 2012 13:30, and WED 18.4 2012 18:30 (in English, with French and German subtitles)

 

More information (in German) can be found here: http://stadtkino.ch/filmreihe_stadtkino.php?rid=115&m=1

 

Out of these, Othello is of special interest, as it almost certainly will be the European cut that is screened, with Welles spoken opening titles (This is the version I’ve seen at the same cinema before, but they couldn’t confirm this). This version – unlike the American print – has no synch issues, nor does it suffer from the brutal cuts of the 1991 restoration that we all know from DVD.

 

Though there have been three DVD-releases of Chimes at Midnight over the last year (and a fourth, hopefully better, is forthcoming – as I understand – from Mr. Bongo Films), there hasn’t been a proper release since Studio Canal had to pull their excellent DVD from the market in 2005, and it is only rarely screened due to the complications over the rights. As far as I know, the film has only been screened three times over the last couple of years: at the Locarno Festival in 2005, (when the organisers had to secure special permission from Saltzman’s widow Adriana), from an archival DVD in Los Angeles in summer 2010, and last August at a special screening in London (where I missed it). Though there have been rumours that the legal situation is clearing itself – and the count of DVD releases seems to suggest this – this film remains a very rarely screened gem . . .  I hope the cinema won’t have to cancel the screening, I didn’t dare ask whether they secured the rights…

 

Best,

Matthias

 

Matthias Heim

Assistant-Doctorant

Faculté des lettres / Université de Neuchâtel

Institute of English Studies

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