Timeless, spirited, sensual, courageous -- all appropriately outsized words to describe Orson Welles’ adaptation of the Bard.
Shakespeare’s tense triangle of Othello, Desdemona and Iago is bolstered by some of the starkest imagery of Welles’ career. This is work on the same level as CITIZEN KANE and TOUCH OF EVIL, and is a prime example of how B&W can be even more vibrant than color.
An inherent facet of Welles’ directorial life was the behind-the-scenes chaos that frequently shadowed him: bad financing deals, false starts, recasting and recuts. Here, however, there are no visible seams. Even though OTHELLO’s infamous, on-again-off-again production took three years, frequently shedded cast members and spanned many different cities passing for one central locale, it’s all one organic, captivating piece -- one which nabbed the ‘52 Palme D’Or at Cannes.