Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1968 - THE IMMORTAL STORY, Orson Welles short film

This Orson Welles film was financed by some French television network and was originally supposed to be part one of a two part film.

Welles has always proclaimed his great admiration for the writer Isak Dinesen so it's not entirely surprising that he would film one of her short stories.

What's so interesting about this film is that its not really a "typical" Orson Welles film.  Welles doesn't use his usual bag of film making tricks.  No Gothic black and white photography, no wild editing and the film has a decided lack of melodrama which Welles always appeared to enjoy.  The Immortal Story is also one of the few things Welles shot in color, which was a medium that he never much cared for. 

What Welles has done for a change, is to focus on the story and the acting.  For a Welles film the performances are very restrained.  No Akim Tamiroff overacting or eye rolling this time.  Even "Orson the Great"  under plays his role as the Machiavellian mastermind of the story.

A good short film which at 55 minutes doesn't wear out it's welcome with unnecessary padding in the storytelling.

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