Two interesting news stories, connected to the past, caught my attention last week. The first, the announcement of the launch of Santana Films. The second, news that a rare Orson Welles film had been rediscovered.
Santana Films is the latest undertaking from the estate of Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart. Overseen by Stephen Bogart, his son with Lauren Bacall, it’s based on Santana Productions, one of the first US independent film companies. Launched by Bogie in 1947, Santana Productions made just seven films before Bogie’s death a decade later. The aim of Santana Films is to make noirs, thrillers and other crime films - the genre’s Bogie was most identified with. They also revealed their first film, ‘This Last Lonely Place’, which will be released in the spring.
In 1938, three years before ‘Citizen Kane’, Orson Welles made ‘Too Much Johnson’ - silent comedy to accompany a stage play which never opened. It was one of many films Welles never got round to completing, a house fire in the sixties destroyed what was thought the only copy.
Another print was found in Italy in 2008, a fact only revealed last week. Following reconstruction, it was announced a premiere in Italy, and another in America, will take place in October.