Unlike a lot of battle scenes, there's no attempt to hide the brutality and savagery of it all, and there's no attempt to make it somehow seem glorious. I know that Orson claimed that he never used symbolism, but somehow I think of a certain southeast asian "conflict" when I see this sequence. A stretch, perhaps
The jovial youth of Hal is strewn aside once the realization of what has happened sets in. Then again, how could somebody still feel youthful after that? Then again, Falstaff more or less stayed the same
And I have to ask, where is this botched soundtrack at?
As a final thought, can anybody tell why Orson decided to make films in color following Chimes
about large portions of The Other Side Of The Wind being improvised
Vietnam wasn't as big an issue in 1966 as it would come to be. That happened after Tet in 1969 and later when Nixon invaded Cambodia and Laos. I doubt Welles was referencing it in particular, just the death of chivalry in general.
The only print of Falstaff available in the US has been an $80 VHS tape of absolutely atrocious quality. The soundtrack was so worn you couldn't understand most of the dialogue through the roar of scratches and the visuals were as faded as something shot in 1915 and left outside on the back steps since then. THIS is the print I have feared BWS wanted to restore. Anyway, nothing wrong with Falstaff if you can find a good print.
Welles first shot in colour in 1942, all the Brazillian footage was to be colour. That might not have been Welles' decision. He preferred black and white, and argued that there weren't even any great performances in colour - that it was impossible to achieve. The Immortal Story was done for French TV, and he had to do colour if he wanted financing. After that, everything was colour. Maybe he thought you could caoture a great performance after all - or he thought he'd have a better chance commercially with it.
Hmm...would it be pointless to start a letter-writing campaign (or, perhaps an e-mail writing campaign) to some company like Criterion, in the interest of having Criterion attempt to get the domestic rights for it whenever the litigation is resolved so that Beatrice doesn't attempt to ruin this film as well?
Parts of The Magnificent Ambersons were improvised too, like the strawberry shortcake scene. The actors knew what the scene was about and where it was supposed to go, but improvised it from there. Probably something similar to what he did in TOSOTW.
I know people go on about it at length, but the battle scene was nothing short of incredible
It may have already been mentioned, but Welles had been working on this combination of Shakespearean Chronicle Plays, in several mediums, for decades, most notably, in his ill-fated Broadway extravaganza, which helped put an end to the Mercury Theater as a resident theatrical company there.
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