Falstaff <3 Henry IV part 1 is easily among my favorite Shakespeare plays, and its other adaptation that cribs from Chimes, My Own Private Idaho, is one of my favorite movies. So naturally, I loved Chimes. Welles running around the battlefield in his armor made me laugh out loud when I watched this in the library. I was at a low from being dumped the day prior, but this movie was a perfect choice to lift my spirits.
Thank you MUBI! There's nothing comparable to Welles' way of sculpting cinema around acting and character development! He truly shares with Shakespeare a scientific interest in human character. Not concepts superimposed on people, but just people with their quirks and motivations as they react and evolve. All with an incomparable aesthetic distance too, no method acting gimmickry, sheer artistry!
Impressive adaptation, which is a mix of Shakespeare's iconic plays. The visual side is stunning - beautiful cinematography, fantastic camerawork, lighting, INCREDIBLE set design and costumes. What disappoints is the sound design in the sense of dubbing, but what's even worse - a really poor quality coupled with Welles' groans, and the Early Modern English used by Shakespeare makes it almost unintelligible for most.
Rightly considered by Welles as his own favourite, this is also the greatest of all Shakespeare films. It explodes the narrative beyond the theatre's restrictive form and adds new life to Falstaff. Far too rarely has the Bard been adapted by someone with as keen a sense for his poetry as for cinema itself.
A towering performance from a plethoric Welles, whose overwhelming presence provides anchoring for other characters. Chimes of Midnight maybe Welles's retrsospectively most celebrated Shakespeare adaptation. Its powerful visuals supplement the primitivist connotations of a Macbeth, with a physicaly imposing Falstaff. Featuring a stellar cast it uses Welles' belly as an Ubuesque point of fixity upon which puns abound.
Orson Welles- the man who blurred the border between cinema and autobiography, history and biography. Chimes at Midnight, probably the greatest adaptation (or reorientation?) of Shakespeare on screen, features everything that Welles had mastered over three decades, but perhaps it supersedes everything with probably the finest close-ups Welles has ever used in any Shakespeare adaptation (yes, including Macbeth).
I barely understood anything thanks to the shitty sound of my TV, and yet it still managed to captivate every second. Much like the Bard himself, Welles hasn't aged at all, in fact his films remain incredibly modern to this day. The great icon cannot be contained by dry cinematic philosophies; his foundations were pure frenzy and energy.