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WORKS, IN PROGRESS

on Orson Welles' Othello and Marlen Khutsiev's I Am Twenty

What are we to say of Orson Welles' Othello? As so many films in the protean filmmaker's career, this is not so much a finished work as one of his projects constantly in progress, upgrading and updating. It's not so much the film that Mr Welles had in mind as the film that could be done: a heavily abridged take on Shakespeare's tragedy of the Moor of Venice that stitches together material shot over three years in different locations, with different crews and even different casts. Even Mr Welles, playing the lead, looks clearly physically different throughout the film's short length. His Desdemona, the stunning Suzanne Cloutier, is dubbed in the final version by actress Gudrun Ure, and Mr Welles himself overdubbed many of the secondary performers' voices.

The genealogy of this Othello is quite convoluted: the only currently available version is daughter Beatrice's controversial 1992 restorati…

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