* * * - Okay
Unlike Chimes at Midnight, this has the visual sweep I love from Welles and little of his fondness for unusual close-ups and overlapping dialogue. Welles' lesser films tend to get tripped up in personal experimentation. This shows him more interested in flexing his talent, proving his abilities. Possibly my favorite film version of Othello, though it's still not a favorite Shakespeare of mine.
The Immortal Story (1968)
* * * - Okay
I love the plot of this one, which sounds like a dream project for Abbas Kiarostami. Welles plays a rich old eccentric who wants to create a common fable involving a sailor and a wife that everybody recalls happening to a friend of a friend. He wants one person to be able to say "I'm that guy," so he has his servant hire people to bring the old tale to life. (Jeanne Moreau excels as the woman playing the wife.) Of course reality distorts the story, which is a great metaphor for the very nature of a story being shaped by the person telling the tale. Too bad Welles uses an over-intellectualized approach because this might've been an easier treasure to recommend.
Too Much Johnson (1938)
* * 1/2
A silent film with a frantic opening sequence that mixes classic Hollywood staging with Russian silent editing. The actual film was never completed, so the bulk is played out using the remaining footage, often several takes of the same shots and many wide masters. Taken as is, it's best approached as an experimental film where you get to choose your own moments that would tell the story best, though sections are still missing so the final product can never be completed. The assembled footage is very insightful while at the same time never gives me any big clues about Welles artistry.