Among the most pleasurable entries in director Orson Welless filmography are those projects that find him trying to wedge his eccentricities into a standard genre template and failing to do so with fascinating results. The Lady From Shanghai, a late-40s noir elaboration being screened on Tuesday, May 5, as part of the Denver Public Librarys Fresh City Life series, is the most prime of examples.
Rita Hayworth, Welless co-star (and then-wife), was among Hollywoods most glamorous figures of the era, renowned for her long, luxurious red hair so, of course, he had her chop her locks and dye them blond in order to play an adulteress with more than her share of secrets. The plot, about a fake murder scheme that may be more genuine than claimed, is filled with twists and double-crosses that Welles accentuates via jagged editing and a thrillingly baroque visual style that reaches its peak in late sequences set in a Chinese theater and a hall of mirrors that reflects anything and everything including Welless twisted genius.
Get an eyeful of this particular Lady at 6 p.m. in the Level B2 Conference Center at DPLs central branch, 10 West Fourteenth Avenue Parkway. Theres no charge for admission. To learn more, call 720-865-1111 or visit www.DenverLibrary.org.
Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m. Starts: April 7. Continues through May 5, 2009