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Episode No. 32: The Orson Welles Roundtable – OTHELLO and F FOR FAKE

​Peter Keough joins David and Steve for a round-table discussion on Orson Welles, one of cinema’s original independent filmmakers. Two of the films they focus on are Othello (1952) and F for Fake (1973), both of which have recently been released on blu-ray for the first time.

Othello is available on BD in France, from Carlotta Films; while F for Fake has just been released on BD by Criterion in the USA.​

About Steve HeadAbout David KleilerAbout Peter Keough

Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years

About Stephen Slaughter Head

Stephen Slaughter Head was co-editor of the Star Wars website TheForce.net, co-founder of the much-loved movie news website IGN FilmForce, and editor of the movie section at AOL’s Propellor.com. As a film journalist he has more than 2,000 published articles at IGN.com. His work has also appeared on AOL.com, and in Esquire magazine and the Boston Phoenix. Stephen hosts the Diabolique Webcast.

2 comments

  1. Thank you, gentlemen, for covering F FOR FAKE and OTHELLO on the Diabolique Magazine podcast; I enjoyed the analysis. I would like to clarify a couple of things discussed. Welles’ daughter Beatrice Welles actually owns the film OTHELLO (it’s the only one of his films in her possession) and was responsible for instigating a 1992 restoration which formed the basis for the version re-released in theaters this past year and on Blu-ray. In the past, she has sought to repress earlier versions of the film (such as the Criterion laserdisc release) in order for the restored version to benefit as the “official” release, but she did not block OTHELLO outright. The absence of the film over the past two decades has only been due to lack of interest in distribution.

    As to the circumstances surrounding the production of MACBETH, Welles, in fact, completed his intended version of the film (in 1947) prior to leaving for Europe. The studio, Republic, was concerned that the Scottish brogue dialect would be unintelligible and wanted the film kept to a 90 minute running time. While Welles was indeed hesitant to alter his vision for the film, he acquiesced and cut twenty minutes himself while in Rome. He instructed his line producer Richard Wilson to oversee the new voice recording and provided his own new line readings as Macbeth near the tail end of the re-edit. In effect, both versions of the film were controlled by Welles. Fortunately, Welles’ initial edit has survived and is now considered the preeminent version (and proves that the Scottish brogue was perfectly intelligible all along!).

  2. Thanks for the podcasts, I’ve been enjoying them greatly.

    I just listened to this and while I enjoyed the podcast, I can fill in a few gaps on Oja (pronouned “Oh-Yeh”) Kodar and Welles. Kodar was Welles mistress for the last decade or so of his life. Also the scene at the beginning of F for Fake with men leering at her ass as she walked by was her idea and she actually directed the segment (uncredited) which was spliced into the opening of the film. All of that was real and was filmed secretly as a commentary on the “male gaze”. A lot of this information comes from the interview with Kodar that is one of the extra features on the Criterion DVD/Blu.

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