Orson Welles’ messy, bungled, chopped-up masterpiece of Film Noir is rife with provocative imagery and surreal storytelling techniques that stand out as some of the best exhibited in the genre, despite all efforts at the hands of studio meddling (the eternal Wellsian curse) to strip away the genius that defined his films. The story behind the making of The Lady from Shanghai is equally as fascinating as the film itself, which we gleefully dive into alongside the dissection of the film’s confounding story structure, themes of betrayal and manic confusion, beautiful beach locales, and of course the dark brooding of noir mystery that boils at the center of the film’s layered intrigue. A touchstone of classic Film Noir, and a highlight of Welles’ troubled but brilliant career in Hollywood, The Lady from Shanghai continues to be a fascinating product of the clash between the restricting forces of the studio system and the trailblazing genius of an auteur who fought his entire career to get even a fraction of his vision rendered on screen.
0:00: Cinepocalypse: The Best of 2020
9:40: Coronavirus: The fallout for movies & theaters
29:40: The Lady from Shanghai