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CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT


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Saturday, November 5
The 33rd Annual Olympia Film Festival presents
CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT
12pm

“If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I would offer up. I think it’s because it is, to me, the least flawed…I succeeded more completely, in my view, with that than with anything else.” – Orson Welles

The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s extraordinary cinematic career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff. Usually a comic supporting figure, Falstaff – the loyal, often soused friend of King Henry IV’s wayward son Prince Hal – here becomes the focus: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic antihero played by Welles with looming, lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created a gritty and unorthodox Shakespeare film as a lament, he said, “for the death of Merrie England.” Poetic, philosophical, and visceral with a kinetic centerpiece battle sequence that rivals anything in the director’s body of work, Chimes at Midnightis as monumental as the figure at its heart. Co-starring Jeanne Moreau and John Gielgud.
Director: Orson Welles/ 1966 / France, Spain / 116 min


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