It is a tragedy of truly Shakespearean proportions that FALSTAFF has joined the long list of Welles-directed films that are somehow jinxed, kept under wraps, tied up in litigation, disintegrating in vaults, misplaced in studio archives... never to be seen again by the ever-diminishing coterie of Wellesnetters.
How could the greatest film director of the 20th century have endured so much hard luck?
I am reminded of the story Welles told on British television in the fifties, the one about how he was cursed during the making (or unmaking) of IT'S ALL TRUE. Welles angered a shaman who laid a curse on him. Well, folks, this is the curse that keeps on giving, because here we are 67 years later and the curse still hasn't been lifted.
I came across a short article at Cinematical
entitled "Was Orson Welles cursed by a Brazilian witch doctor?" which you'll find athttp://www.cinematical.com/2005/09/19/w ... ch-doctor/
item leads to a related story. The curse placed on Welles is explored more fully in an article from The Independent on Sunday
headlined and subheaded "Orson Welles: Cinema's lost genius – A screening of fragments of his unreleased last film highlights the neglect of an icon, writes Geoffrey MacNab" – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 06952.html
Both articles were published in 2005, but the situation hasn't changed one iota since then.
I count myself fortunate to have seen FALSTAFF twice back in the seventies, because I doubt I will live long enough to ever see it again.
Let's face it. With few exceptions (Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, The Twilight Zone, The Prisoner), the culture we boomers knew in our formative years is being forgotten. We're like our older relatives who used to talk about Fatty Arbuckle and Charley Chase. And FALSTAFF barely got noticed when it was first released way back in 1965.
I suppose I'll just have to settle for Lawrence French's regular (and most welcome) installments of articles exploring various aspects of Welles' films, rather than the films themselves.