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The Essential Orson Welles - Mr. Arkadin

In this pulp rendition of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles plays Gregory Arkadin, a mysterious, amnesiac millionaire who hires cigarette smuggler Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden) to investigate his past. 

Orson Welles in MR. ARKADIN, 1955.

Stratten scours the globe interviewing everyone who knew Arkadin from his early days, only to find that such information can prove perilous to those who possess it. Over the years, Mr. Arkadin has been screened in a variety of different cuts including a Spanish-language version and an English-language iteration titled Confidential Report, none with Welles’s editorial approval. But this baroque thriller has its champions, from Jean-Luc Godard, who called the film “a model of montage,” to Japanese director Shinji Aoyama (Eureka), who voted for it on Sight and Sound’s 2012 poll of the Greatest Films of All Time and said: “No other movie is destructive as [Mr. Arkadin], which gives me different emotions every time I see it. Achieving this kind of indetermination in a film is the highest goal that I always hope for, but can never achieve.” J. Hoberman hailed the film as “one of Welles’ most inventive and resonant.” The Academy will be screening the most comprehensive version in existence, re-edited by the Filmmuseum München after Welles’s passing to restore the film closer to his intended vision.

1955, 106 minutes, black and white, DCP | Written by Orson Welles; directed by Orson Welles; with Orson Welles, Michael Redgrave, Patricia Medina, Akim Tamiroff, Mischa Auer, Katina Paxinou, Jack Watling, Gregoire Aslan, Peter Van Eyck.

Screen legend Orson Welles was a pioneering filmmaker and raffish public personality, best known for the remarkable achievement of Citizen Kane. This series presented by the Academy will focus on Welles as a trailblazing director, presenting nine of the 11 films completed in his lifetime (several of them screening in brand-new restorations). As a body of work, these films – from the serene grandeur of The Magnificent Ambersons to the noir intrigue of The Lady from Shanghai and Touch of Evil – reveal the dexterity and inventiveness of Welles's craftsmanship. The series will offer examples of his dazzling technical expertise, such as overlapping dialogue, potent bursts of montage and bravura cinematography, and explore the themes that fascinated him, from anti-heroes corrupted by power to the dangers of pursuing uncomfortable truths. These films are a testament to Welles the tireless visionary, who, whether in the lap of studio luxury or exiled in Zagreb, approached each motion picture as a mystery that only he could unravel.

The series runs from May 3 through June 7. For more screenings, please visit our Events page.


Event Information

Saturday, May 24 at 9:10 p.m.
Bing Theater
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

$5 general admission
$3 Academy members, LACMA Film Club members and students with a valid ID.

*Admission to both screenings on May 24: The Lady From Shanghai and Mr. Arkadin.
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