Kian Bergstrom republishes his “Chimes at Midnight” review on Cine-File for its Chicago return at the Siskel Center


Orson Welles’ CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (International Revival)

Gene Siskel Film Center – Saturday, 3pm and Thursday, 6pm

A thoroughly thrilling experience, inspiring on every conceivable level, and one of the saddest films ever made. Welles made a life-long study of Shakespeare, adapting him on stage many times and making, in MACBETH and OTHELLO, two of his best movies. As a very young man, he attempted a mammoth adaptation he called Five Kings, combining scenes from the eight history plays revolving around the War of the Roses and The Merry Wives of Windsor, a project that here, transformed from a youth’s ambition to a mature artist’s melancholy, forms the seed for CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, a sprawling, strange, and deeply big-hearted melodrama of love and death, honor and betrayal, cowardice and duty, profligacy and desperation.


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