Part of the Munich Filmmuseum's arrangement with Oja Kodar is to present retrospectives of the unfinished Welles material at regular periodic intervals, of which the Harvard presentation was the latest (I believe the screenings are required to take place at least once every three years - Stefan Droessler has actually organized more screenings than that during the past five or six years). So, in effect, the retrospectives are the way to view this "lost" Welles work.
I share your disappointment that TOSOTW seems incapable of moving forward, but there have been some notable Welles projects that have come to fruition over the last few years. Certainly, the three-disc TOUCH OF EVIL set goes a long way in correcting past injustices. I also consider the Criterion release of MR. ARKADIN to be a major breakthrough (especially the "Comprehensive Version" of the film first presented by Mr. Droessler at various retrospectives which paved the way for its official release). Also, much of the footage from Welles' unfinished work has been released as part of the "One Man Band" documentary available on Criterion's F FOR FAKE DVD.
Personally, I would like to own the Munich Filmmuseum's edit of THE DREAMERS which is quite lovely and still think the TOSOTW project could be tackled (but would probably require abandoning the incessant "quick cut" approach and minimize the "film-within-the-film" footage in order to find the actual story being told). THE DEEP never struck me as all that good. With a lot of work on the audio it could be finished, but even with the best of intentions, the final result would probably still be more disappointing than any other Welles product (apart from Franco's DON QUIXOTE, of course - nothing is more disasterous than that!).
But that is no reason to give up hope. I still think that someday the original European cut of OTHELLO will be widely available (perhaps with FILMING OTHELLO as a bonus feature) as well as a decent looking print of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT. The same could be true of THE IMMORTAL STORY.
We're lucky to have what we have. At one point, KANE was in danger of being destroyed before release. Had that happened, I doubt we would have had nearly as many Welles' films to view, appreciate and discuss.
Last edited by Roger Ryan
on Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.