ORSON WELLES’ LONDON

Orson Welles

(1968-1971). R. e P.: Orson Welles. F.: Giorgio Tonti, Tomislav Pinter, Ivica Rajkovic, Gary Graver. In.: Orson Welles, Charles Gray, Jonathan Lynn, Oja Kodar. 35mm (parziale Blow-up da 16mm). D.: 31’ a 24 f/s.
info_outline
T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In 1968 Welles began shooting a television special for CBS, that was initially going to be called Orson’s bag and was supposed to present various European locations. When funding for the project was cut because of its contribution to a Nixon satire, Welles continued on the with the project anyhow, with the title The One-Man Band, and enlarged it into an autobiographical essay, with single episodes being completed during various stages of the creation. Orson Welles’ London consists of five episodes, written by five young English authors: Churchill, Swinging London, Four Clubmen, Stately Home and Tailors. In some episodes Welles plays multiple parts simultaneously, like for example, a street musician, a policeman, a woman selling flowers, a Chinese person, and a marine. In Swinging London he plays a hippie, while in Four Clubmen he plays all the English gentleman. The outdoor shots were filmed in London in 1968, while the indoor shots were filmed in Rome. In 1971 Welles returned to London once again with cameraman Gary Graver to film the beginning. In the same year, 1971, the first cuts for Stately Homes were born, which Welles had filmed in 16mm in the garden at his home in Orvilliers, near Paris. The film uses parts of the shooting script, but following Welles’ intentions, some non processed material was added. The positive 35mm and 16mm was duped, available magnetic material was inserted, mixed and re-recorded in optical. The sound for the Four Clubmen sequence was lost by Welles himself during the ‘70s.

Stefan Droessler

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Restored in 2000 by Filmmuseum München