Chimes at Midnight

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PrintCity Lights Film Series

Chimes at Midnight

  1. Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:00 p.m.
Still image from the film Chimes at Midnight (Falstaff)

One of the more under-appreciated and rarely screened of Orson Welles’s films, Chimes at Midnight finds Welles playing Shakespeare’s famous recurring character, Falstaff, a roustabout and companion to Prince Hal, who eventually becomes Henry V. Welles brings his theatrical background to the fore, as he creatively adapts portions from several of Shakespeare’s plays to give a fuller version of Falstaff, a man like Welles himself, whose mouth and mind are as oversized as his belly. Though critically acclaimed at the time of its release, the film has rarely been seen due to complications with Welles’s estate. However, it remains a singular work in Welles’s filmography, one which Welles himself admired, as evidenced by his remark, "If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that's the one I'd offer up."

Introduction is being provided by James Paasche, PhD Candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture.

(16mm presentation)