Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I do not know who I am... Extraordinary Mr Arkadin...

At times chaotic, crazy but a truly extraordinary film!

Mr Arkadin is Orson Welles 1955 film heavily butchered (even more than The Magnificent Ambersons) by the producers.

What fascinates me about the film are the eccentric characters from Arkadin's past. Akim Tamiroff as a down and out thief, Mischa Auer and the flea circus master scene, Katina Paxinou, the ruthless woman who had run a criminal gang in Europe and now lived with her ugly husband in Mexico, Michael Redgrave with his antique junk shop in Amsterdam..

Mischa Auer as the owner of a flea circus

Then there's a memorable insane masquerade ball with huge masks and people running, dancing and laughing all over the place.

The rocking boat scene with Patricia Medina stumbling around the room, giggling and taunting Mr Arkadin is incredible.

Probably the only weakness of the film is Arden's poor performance as the investigator of Arkadin's past.

And now I'm going to tell you about a scorpion. This scorpion wanted to cross a river, so he asked the frog to carry him. No, said the frog, no thank you. If I let you on my back you may sting me and the sting of the scorpion is death. Now, where, asked the scorpion, is the logic in that? For scorpions always try to be logical. If I sting you, you will die. I will drown. So, the frog was convinced and allowed the scorpion on his back. But, just in the middle of the river, he felt a terrible pain and realized that, after all, the scorpion had stung him. Logic! Cried the dying frog as he started under, bearing the scorpion down with him. There is no logic in this! I know, said the scorpion, but I can't help it - it's my character. Let's drink to character. 

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