Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Welles Genius

I've always been a huge fan of Orson Welles. I mean come on, Citizen Kane? It isn't my favorite film of all time (that would be The Godfather, Pt. II), but I can fully understand when people select it as the greatest film ever made. It so far ahead of it's time it's silly - they didn't even begin to catch up to what he was doing until the 1970's, and it was made in 1941!

Basically everything I have seen him direct is stunning. I watched his spectacular opus Lady From Shanghai and Touch Of Evil on the big screen in my Classics of Film Noir class at Central Michigan University (which was a great class by the way, where we also watched the great Double Indemnity with Fred McMurray). I was also fortunate enough to have screened The Magnificent Ambersons on the big screen as well at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in my History of the Hollywood Film Score course. At various points I've caught Macbeth and Journey Into Fear also.

So it was a real treat to see the restored version of his 1962 adaptation of (the aforementioned) Franz Kafka's The Trial. The film features (the very, very underrated and unfairly typecast) Anthony Perkins as Josef K. A man caught in a nightmare as he is convicted of a crime he does not understand. Welles himself stars as the advocate to Josef K. It's a brilliant film from start to finish, one long high contrast, three point perspective visual extravaganza. The film is extremely Kubrick-esque, full of mid-level shots and long hallways of repeated lines. Man, it is a treat for the eyes for any movie buff. Superb.