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October 2003 in Tehran

1922 silent, black and white film directed by Dmirti Buchowetzki with Emil Jannings as Othello. Loris Tjeknavorian (1937) has based his ballet music "Othello" (1984) to the 1922 film This is a project where a live orchestra (The members of the Armenian Virtuosi, string, wind, percussion and harp) accompanies the movie under conductorship of Loris Tjeknavorian. It will be premiered in Tehran in October 2003 . We would like to present this exciting project also world-wide at the festivals, arts, performance and university series and other events.

Othello ballet by Loris Tjeknavorian
Was originally staged by Northern Ballet, Manchester, United Kingdom. The premier took place in London in presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Ann being performed by London Symphony Orchestra and recorded by EMI in 1984.

"Tjeknavorian's [Othello], in two acts, makes use of simple catchy tunes, generally repeated, sometimes with almost hypnotic effect. Its chief virtue is the highly colorful scoring" - London Times
"I can believe with no doubt at all that in the context of modern ballet (much more serious now, than before: seldom today a divertimento) this Othello score is enormously effective'' - Gramophone
"[Othello's] great open-hearted love motif [is] bound to be adopted ... for someone's theme tune. It's almost a matter of destiny" - London Guardian
"Ballet history is created... a masterpiece that should receive instant worldwide acclaim and recognition" - Mercury and Herald

Othello film
(1922) German
B&W: Feature film
Directed by Dmitri Buchowetzki
Cast: Emil Jannings [Othello], Werner Krauss [Iago], Ica von Lenkeffy [Desdemona], Theodor Loos [Cassio], Lya de Putti [Emilia], Friedrich Kuhne [Brabantio], Magnus Stifter [Montano], Ferdinand von Alten [Rodrigo].
Worner-Film production.
Scenario by Dmitri Buchowetzki, from the play Othello by William Shakespeare.
Art direction by Fritz Kraenke and Karl Machus.
Cinematography by Karl Hasselmann and Friedrich Paulmann.
Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format.
The film was released in the USA by Export-Import Film Company (Ben Blumenthal) in 1923.
81 minutes
Genre: Drama, Silent, Stage Play, Vintage, Tragedy, Character Study, Infidelity, Shakespeare

Othello film
(1922) German
A German silent adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy about a man who "loved not wisely, but too well" -- and so is duped by his evil aide into thinking that his wife has been unfaithful.
As war between Venetians and the Turks rages in the 16th century, Othello (Jannings) weds the beautiful Desdemona and promotes Cassio over his longtime assistant, Iago (Kraus). Othello prepares to celebrate his marriage, but Iago -- furious over Othello's snub -- has dastardly plans in store for his employer.
Iago begins to poison Othello's mind against Desdemona, claiming that she's having an affair with Cassio; he even manages to produce "proof" of the infidelity. It doesn't take long for the jealous general to start believing Iago's allegations, and he winds up on the path of destruction.

Shakespeare's tragedy proves remarkably versatile in this 1922 adaptation, combining the Bard's passionate melodrama with the rich psychological underpinnings of Germany's silent expressionist cinema. Directed with intelligent economy by Russian expatriate Dimitri Buchowetzki, the film is brimming over with title cards, but only a few of them borrow from Shakespeare verbatim. In both plotting and written dialogue, this is a largely original interpretation, bearing closer resemblance to the 2001 teen drama O than to Shakespeare, emphasizing the ill-fated Moor's descent into jealousy and madness, brought upon him by the scheming Iago, played with delicious villainy by Werner Krauss of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari fame. As Othello, the legendary Emil Jannings plays to the cheap seats with crazed abandon, his bulging eyes about to burst from their sockets. It's the showmanship of a stage icon, but wholly appropriate to the escalating intensity of Shakespeare's play, the essence of which is admirably retained.

Jeff Shannon

opera based to Shahnameh by Ferdowsi to be premiered
in January 2004 in Iran.

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