Such a stripped-down and sacred thing. One of the great collaborations between a film director and a cinematographer (the brilliant Willy Kurant). A pretty streamlined and off-at-a-remove production. Meaning that there wasn't much to interfere in the pure mechanics of this extraordinary collab. The cutting is also sensational. This is a universal parable, rendered in gauze and light. And an experiment. A discovering.
What people tend to love/hate about Welles is that, wherever his character originated (even Shakespeare), the movie usually ends up being in some sense about Welles himself. Since he completed no fictional feature after this short story, it feels like a kind of coda whether it was intended that way or not, a hauntingly bizarre examination of the filmmaking process, in all its contradictory, perverse glory.
An unusual and atmospheric chamber piece. The low-budget production standards contribute to a theatrical sense of unreality: a story situated somewhere between reality and fairy tale, an almost magical realist feel. The aesthetic thus matches the core subject matter which poses interesting questions around the nature of story, power and the tension between the reality of our personal narratives and fantasy.
I loved the eerie atmosphere. Great music, performances and cast. The film's very poetical and feels like a theatrical play at times. Expertly directed, fantastic camerawork. Unfortunately the production value drags it down, poor quality video and sound in particular.