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Review: Five Minutes Mr Welles
Author Short movies by Chiosi, D’Onofrio, and Tambasco
By Elisabetta Randaccio
12 Sep 2005

Three films share the theatrical cut and stylistic experimentation that leaves quite hope for the future of these directors that have been inspired by Orson Welles, Don Chisciotte and Amleto. Last Thursday we have seen three short movies in the “Short Short: Special Events” section that could be put together for their theatrical origin .

I have to say that “Five Minutes, Mr. Welles”, by Vincent D’Onofrio (presented to the public showing, who was greeted with a enthusiastic applause), Naufragi di Don Chisciotte, by Dominik Tambascoand La Trama d’Amleto, by Salvatore Chiosi, are not filmed theater, but works specifically cinematographic, also very interesting from a formal point of view, above all D’Onofrio and Chiosi experimenting with ability in the style.

“Five Minutes, Mr Welles” (30 min) is, at the same time, a tribute to the great Orson Welles, but also to the creativity of movie actors and authors in general, pressed for the industry demands and their own personal torments. Filmed in black and white and exclusively interior. Despite this claustrophobic location, D’Onofrio invents bold shots, some of them pays homage to the technical inventions that Welles mainly experimented in Citizen Kane.

The short story is placed in a room where Wells and his `personal assistant´ must get ready for the performance of the actor in the memorable film by Carol Reed, “The Third Man”, where played the fiendish Harry Lime, smuggler of penicillin `cut´, in a post-WW II wounded Vienna.

Welles is not convinced about the words he has to memorize (the famous dialogue at Lunapark), therefore forgets them, gets furious, tormenting to his beautiful and young assistant who makes him remember he accepted that role just for the money, to be able to go on with his Othello.

The girl seems to be the tempting devil with her cynical speech, interposed with ruthless consideration on the failures of her speaker, Welles would like to flee from a situation that, artisticly humilates him, but he will arrive, at the conclusion, to create the “Cuckoo’s clock” monologue (“Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!).

D’Onofrio and his partner Janine Theriault are simply extraordinary. The American actor had already interpreted Welles in the Tim Burton’s film `Ed Wood´. When, at the end of `Five Minutes, Mr Welles´ when he puts a coat on his shoulders, he becomes also HarryLime/Orson and it’s more than a tribute.

:: Thank you to Inmaculada for providing and translating this article ::

:: "Vincent D'Onofrio revisits Orson Welles"

Five Minutes, Mr Welles

Credits

Director : Vincent D'Onofrio
D'ONOFRIO, Vincent
Production Company: Brooklyn Hazelhurst
Brooklyn Hazelhurst Productions
Producer: Ken Christmas
Producer: Merly Emmerton
Screenplay: Will Conroy
Director of Photography: Frank Prinzi
Editor: Sabine Hoffman
Production Designer: Jess Gonchor
Costumes: Rachel Leek
Music: David Mansfield
Sound: Damian Volpe