I saw this at the TIFF last Sunday, it's billed as a documentary where the director (Petri) apparently was scouring the earth for clips of Welles unfinished Don Quixote, instead he discovers 60 hours of footage (ala home movies) taken by Welles during the time he lived in various parts of Spain in the 50's & 60's, most notably in and around bull fighting rings and events related to bull fighting (ie, footage of the running of the bulls in Pamplona). All shot in black & white. There are many scenes of Welles (with cigar in mouth of course) being driven around in his Mercedes with a camera in his hand and basically shooting anything that interests him, others with him at bullfights.
Welles became enamoured with bullfighters and was interred in Ronda, Spain, on bullfighter Antonio Ordonez's farm.
Ordonez's widow actually charged Petri 3000 euros to film the well that Welles ashes were dumped into. The well is sealed.
Throughout the piece Petri (narrated in Swedish with Eng subs) visits surviving Welles collaborators in Spain who basically offer anecdotes about Welles lifestyle and opinions.
He also visits bars, hotels that Welles frequented and there are some humurous stories related to his eating and drinking habits.
Interesting stuff, the official international title is "Brunnen" on the IMDB. I doubt it will available on video but you never now.
It might play at subsequent festivals around the world.
From the TIFF website
Programme: REAL TO REEL
Director: Kristian Petri
Language: Swedish, English, Spanish
Time: 117 minutes
Film Types: Colour/BW/35mm
Friday, September 09 1:30 PM PARAMOUNT 4 Buy tickets now
Sunday, September 11 8:15 PM VARSITY 3 Buy tickets now
Friday, September 16 3:15 PM VARSITY 6 Buy tickets now
Production Company: Charon Film/Swedish Television/Manden med Camaraet/Swedish Film Institute
Executive Producer: Kristian Petri
Producer: Per Forsgren
Written By: Kristian Petri
Cinematography: Jan Röed
Editor: Jesper Osmund
Sound: Per Forsgren
Music: Johan Söderberg, David Österberg
Principal Cast: Featuring: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, Jess Franco, Peter Viertel, William Law
Orson Welles had a long, passionate love affair with Spain, shooting many of his films there - Chimes at Midnight and parts of F for Fake, The Immortal Story and Mr. Arkadin. It provided the inspiration for his famously incomplete adaptation of "Don Quixote," a project he worked on intermittently for fourteen years, and his lesser-known unrealized project, Treasure Island. He loved the country's people, food and customs and became fixated, as did Ernest Hemingway, upon its bullfighting. But who knew Welles's ashes are buried in Spain, in a well on the property of a renowned bullfighter?
The Well is Kristian Petri's loving attempt to trace Welles's Spanish sojourns. Mixing personal reflection and original interviews with archival footage shot by and about Welles, Petri crafts a wonderfully unconventional documentary that does full justice to its subject, one of the cinema's most fascinating men. The film abounds with engrossing dialogues with a wide diversity of people who knew Welles: Jess Franco, a filmmaker and one of Welles's second unit directors; Peter Viertel, close friend, scriptwriter on The African Queen and author of "Black Hunter, White Heart"; his boozing partner, William "Bill" Law; restaurateurs who recount anecdotal memories; and his companion of many years, Oja Kodar.
Petri travels all over Spain hunting the traces of Welles, from Calatañazor, where he shot Chimes at Midnight; to Seville, where he landed as a seventeen-year-old boy for his first visit to the country; and to Ronda, where he is buried. Languid Spanish landscapes provide the punctuation in Petri's elegant travelogue, allowing him moments to muse and reflect on both his and Welles's journeys.
The eloquent memories shared here provide insights into the riddle of Orson Welles, a man who made one of the greatest films in the history of cinema, but who subsequently struggled and left behind a host of unfinished projects. Petri's intimate and very personal film is a beautiful portrait of the enigma of this cinematic giant.
- Piers Handling
Kristian Petri was born in Ärtemark, Sweden. His films include Once Upon a Time (91), The Crack (92), Between Summers (95), Königsberg Express (96), Tokyo Noise (02) and The Well (05).
Associated with European Film Promotion,
an initiative supported by the
European Union’s MEDIA Programme.