Chimes at Midnight

Orson Welles as Falstaff? Talk about casting from life. Character and actor/director converge in this 1966 Euro-stew, cobbled together from several of Shakespeare's plays over several years and continents. (Actors and their voices don't always match.) Chimes--sometimes also more accurately called Falstaff--was and is something of a one-man show. Were he alive today, Welles would be doing it onstage in Vegas or Branson. The movie is a pastiche, but a pastiche with the right sort of feeling to it. As the sad, fat clown who's outlived his purpose to Prince Hal, Falstaff is a figure of stubborn pathos. He'd no sooner let go of the world than he would a side of ham. Welles lards the screen unevenly, but there's great work from John Gielgud as the impatient Henry IV and Margaret Rutherford as Mistress Quickly. A DVD restoration still awaits this rarely projected film. Also screens Sat./Sun. at 4:30 p.m. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Aug. 8-10, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2008

 
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