The Immortal Story. 1968. USA. Directed by Orson Welles. Screenplay by Welles, Louise de Vilmorin, from the novel by Isak Dinesen. With Jeanne Moreau, Welles, Roger Coggio. DCP. 58 min.
In colonial Macao, an elderly merchant (Orson Welles) becomes obsessed by an old erotic tale—of a wealthy trader who hired a sailor to conceive a child with his much younger wife—and resolves to recreate it with himself, a Danish drifter (Norman Eshley), and the impoverished daughter (Jeanne Moreau) of a former business partner. Produced for French television, this short feature finds Welles at his most Mephistophelean, spinning stories within stories and exulting in his power to seduce and deceive, even to the point of deceiving himself.