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Directed by Orson Welles

France 1968 60 mins.

Welles’ first color film—significant considering the development of scores of color processes since the 1920s—tells the story of Clay (Welles), a wealthy but aging Macao merchant, who, upon hearing a story in which a young sailor is paid to impregnate an elderly man’s wife, decides to recreate the legend for himself. The problem: he’s unmarried. Enter Virginie (Jeanne Moreau), the daughter of Clay’s former business partner, “hired” to be Clay’s wife and enact his twisted fantasy. However, Virginie has a score to settle with Clay and the myth turns upon him. “Thematically and poetically it exemplifies Welles’ late lyrical manner. . . It’s awkward yet exquisite.”—Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader.

Genres: Drama

Appears in: Orson Welles at 100

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.