Welles' Othello coming to Criterion

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coolcatdaddy
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Welles' Othello coming to Criterion

Unread post by coolcatdaddy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:56 am

Wellesnet and other sites are reporting that Orson Welles' "Othello" is coming to blu-ray in Fall 2015 from Criterion.

A new restoration of the Beatrice Welles 1992 "restoration" was shown theatrically and released in France on blu-ray. This is the version that took the original '55 print and had a re-recorded score and new sound effects, as well as attempts to synch the audio by playing around with the individual shots.

Supposedly, the Criterion release will include Beatrice's '92 "restoration", along with the original 1955 US and UK release cut (and soundtrack) of the film. The latter, of course, would be the reason to buy the Criterion version.

Criterion originally released the US-UK version of "Othello" on laserdisc, but it was blocked by Beatrice Welles and is quite the collector's item.

What would really be interesting is if Criterion could work out something to also include the original 1952 Cannes and European release cut of the picture - that includes spoken-word titles by Welles, a different dubbing for one of the female parts, and other minor changes. (One scholar calls the 55 US cut a "compromise" imposed on Welles by distributor United Artists.) Then, the viewer could Choose their Own Welles Adventure, ala Criterion's "Mr. Arkadin" or Universal's release of "Touch of Evil".

Too bad we don't have the luxury of different versions with "Magnificent Ambersons".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Othello_(1 ... f_the_film

Speaking of different versions of Welles projects, how about a blu-ray of "Journey Into Fear"? There's this tidbit from the Wikipedia article on the picture:
In 2005, an alternate cut was shown at a Welles film retrospective at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. It was the original European release print, lacking the narration and ending of the U.S. version but including about six minutes of footage deleted by RKO Pictures.

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s.w.a.c.
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Re: Welles' Othello coming to Criterion

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:55 am

I have the Criterion laserdisc, but I've been waiting for an upgrade. With this and the recent Too Much Johnson and Chimes at Midnight discoveries, it's been a good year for Welles-o-philes!
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

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wellesnet
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Re: Welles' Othello coming to Criterion

Unread post by wellesnet » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:25 pm

Julian Schlossberg, executive producer of the Othello restoration, and Beatrice Welles have told me the Criterion release will have the 1955 and restored 1992 versions. Other extras are under consideration. I suggested Return to Glennascaul and Filming Othello, but rights to both would have to be ironed out. I know of at least one noted Welles authority who has reached out to Criterion.
At the Sedona Film Festival in late February, Beatrice Welles told audiences at two different film screenings that a major, well-respected home video line had acquired the rights to Chimes at Midnight and would issue a restored version on Blu-ray and DVD. She did not have a timetable and had just been informed. She did not publicly identify the label, telling me that the Estate owns Othello, but not Chimes, and she did not feel it right to speak on their behalf.
It is looking to be a grand year for Welles fans.

monks19
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Re: Welles' Othello coming to Criterion

Unread post by monks19 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:24 pm

What would really be interesting is if Criterion could work out something to also include the original 1952 Cannes and European release cut of the picture
Why exactly does that version is still blocked ? I know that Bea. Welles does have her hand in this (the rights, i mean), but why is this still blocked, especially when it has bee known for years to be the less flawed version of them all ? That makes no senses at all (for distribution & marketing), even though that this is the european release version.

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