Welles appears to privilege his editing over his directing and his directing over his acting. But the movie is also a hall of mirrors, with Welles playing “Orson Welles” — at once pompous and self-deprecating, a celluloid Santa Claus with a full bag of tricks... For Welles, process, however chaotic, was ultimately more important than product. With Filming Othello, he ended his film career as he began it: Like “Citizen Kane,” the movie is a stunt that places the act of filmmaking at center stage.
Welles is the sort of raconteur who takes so much actorly relish in telling a true story that you have to wonder how much is bullshit. But Filming Othello, his last finished feature, is many things: a gold mine of scrappy anecdotes, a study of how actors explore characters, a record of the artist interacting with his audience, and a perfectly heartbreaking coda to a career where, even now, we're hanging on for more.