Orlando


1h 33m 1992
Orlando

Brief Synopsis

An immortal noble experiences four centuries of sexual politics.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Historical
Fantasy
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
1992
Production Company
British Screen Finance; Cinesite Europe, Ltd.; Completion Bond Company Inc; Corbett & Keene; Dynamic International; Frameline Ltd; Goldcrest; Goldcrest Post Production; Location Caterers; Mikado Film; Rollins Burdick Hunter; Sales Company; Simon Olswang; Twickenham Film Studios; Wavevend
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Classics; Budapest Film; Electric Pictures/Contemporary Films Ltd; Pandora Films; Rialto Films; Sony Pictures Classics; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Location
St. Petersburg, Russia; London, England, United Kingdom; Uzbekhistan, Russia

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m

Synopsis

The ageless Orlando is born as a boy into an aristocratic family in Elizabethan England. As a young man, he becomes the English ambassador to Constantinople, during which time war breaks out and Orlando magically metamorphises into a woman. From there, her adventures take her back to Victorian England and forward to the present day.

Crew

Rikhsivoj Abduvakhidov

Gaffer (Uzbekhistan)

Rikhsivoj Abduvakhidov

1st Assistant Director (Uzbekhistan)

Abduvakhid Akhmedkhanov

Grip (Uzbekhistan)

Sergei Andreyev

Labourer (St Petersburg)

Jan Archibald

Hairdressing Supervisor

Bahodiz Atbasarov

Props (Uzbekhistan)

Masha Averbach

Translator (St Petersburg)

Mikhail Azhishev

Carpenter (St Petersburg)

Joshua Meath Baker

Art Department Graphics

Renny Bartlett

Director'S Assistant

Mark Bauman

Additional Costume Maker

Miri Ben-shlomo

Makeup Assistant

Pauline Bennion

Foley Artist (Uzbekhistan)

Alla Blochina

Cashier (St Petersburg)

Joost Bongers

Art Department Trainee

Laurie Borg

Line Producer

Nikolaj Borisov

Pyrotechnic (Uzbekhistan)

Yuri Borovkov

Special Effects Director (St Petersburg)

Victoria Boydell

Assistant Sound Editor (Uzbekhistan)

Irina Braninova

Makeup Assistant (St Petersburg)

Grant Branton

Other

Stephen Brimson

Additional Costume Maker

Lucy Bristow

Other

Richard Broome

Grip

Doreen Brown

Costume Maker

Linda Bruce

Production Executive

Michael Buchanan

Art Director

Guurtje Buddenberg

Production Supervisor (Holland)

Deborah Bulleid

Additional Costume Maker

Irina Bylinskaya

Assistant Art Director (St Petersburg)

Steve Challenor

Standby Carpenter

Roberto Cicutto

Co-Producer (Mikado)

Tony Clarkson

Location Manager (United Kingdom)

Samuel Cohen

Boom Operator

Brian Collings

Costume Maker

Keith Collins

Additional Costume Maker

Paul Corbould

Special Effects Technician

Simon Costin

Other

Steve Dent

Stunt Coordinator

Constance Devos

Set Dresser

Julian Dickens

Legal Consultant

Aziz Djakhangirov

Electrician (Uzbekhistan)

Walter Donohue

Story Editor

Pam Downe

Costume Maker

Jean-louis Ducarme

Sound Recordist

Rob Duiker

Construction Team

Paula Dumont

Wardrobe Buyer

Harriet Earle

Production Coordinator (Russia)

Nigel Egerton

Wardrobe Assistant

Eljo Embregts

Art Department Coordinator

Martin Evans

Dialogue Editor (Uzbekhistan)

Penny Eyles

Script Supervisor

Jonathan Finn

Production Coordinator

Simon Fraser

Production Runner

Tamara Frid

Makeup Artist

Tamara Fried

Makeup Artist (St Petersburg)

Boris Galper

Other

Diane Gelon

Production Lawyer

Yuri Glotov

Production Manager (St Petersburg)

Bob Gomme

Generator Operator

Jean Gontier

Co-Producer (Rio)

Natalia Gorina

Makeup Assistant (St Petersburg)

Vadim Grammaaatikov

Camera Department Supervisor (St Petersburg)

Diane Greaves

Foley Artist (Uzbekhistan)

Vladimir Grieshnikov

Labourer (St Petersburg)

Sian Grigg

Assistant Hairdresser

Igor Gulyenko

Art Director (Uzbekhistan)

Tim Guthrie

Wardrobe Assistant

Lynn Hanke

Associate Producer

Gordon Harmer

Costumer

Annemieke Heep

Production Assistant

Christopher Hobbs

Set Designer (Russia)

Fred Homan

Cashier (Holland)

Michael Howells

Art Director

Helen Huisman

Other

Caroline Hume

Costumer

Rollins Burdick Hunter

Insurance Services

Marat Husainov

Translator (St Petersburg)

Richard Hyland

Production Accountant

Stella Hyland

Assistant Accountant

Elmer Jacobs

Construction Team

Marie Therese Jacobse

Wardrobe Assistant

Jskander Jsmatov

Other

Mikhail Junusov

Electrician (Uzbekhistan)

Lidewij Kapteijn

Construction Team

Valera Katsuba

Translator (St Petersburg)

Carmel Kelly

Costume Maker

Martine Kelly

Associate Producer

Vera Kostovatova

Accountant (Uzbekhistan)

Irina Kotova

Assistant Art Director (St Petersburg)

Walter Krakovtsev

Translator (Uzbekhistan)

John Krausa

Costume Maker

Vladimir Kudriatsev

Grip (St Petersburg)

Anatoly Kuharchik

Unit Driver (St Petersburg)

Jacky Lansley

Choreographer

Tomaz Lasica

Translator (St Petersburg)

Sergei Lateshevsky

Other

Marina Lebedva

Makeup Assistant (St Petersburg)

Dominic Lester

Rerecording Mixer (Uzbekhistan)

Vera Levitskaya

Translator (St Petersburg)

Colin Yair Lewis

Construction Team

Peter Lewis

Costume Maker

Stephen Brimson Lewis

Additional Costume Maker

Han Ing Lim

Art Department Coordinator

Annie Livings

Stand-In

Maria Llyjfors

Costume Maker

Liam Longman

Stills Photographer

Dennis Los

Construction Team

Tom Lowen

Other

Marina Maidanuk

Translator (St Petersburg)

R Majsoyutov

Set Dresser (Uzbekhistan)

Vladimir Malkin

Production Assistant (St Petersburg)

Anatoly Mannanikov

Other

Anna Masimova

Other

Sergei Maslikov

Pyrotechnics (St Petersburg)

Dmitri Masloboyev

Assistant Art Director (St Petersburg)

Alfie Mchugh

Additional Costume Maker

Christian Mcwilliams

3rd Assistant Director

Alan Meacham

Stand-In

Drogo Michie

Art Department Assistant

Nikita Mikhailov

Casting Assistant (St Petersburg)

Paul Minter

Costume Supervisor

Otkham Mizzaev

Props (Uzbekhistan)

Juliette Monro

Other

Vanessa Monro

Other

Nick Moore

1st Assistant Editor (Uzbekhistan)

Roanne Moore

Assistant (To Producer)

Tatiana Morozova

Assistant Art Director (St Petersburg)

Simon Moseley

2nd Assistant Director

Radjabov Muhamedjan

Head Of Production (Uzbekhistan)

Clare Muller

Additional Costume Maker

Inna Musina

Translator (St Petersburg)

Luigi Musini

Co-Producer (Mikado)

Zibo Nassirovo

Costume Supervisor (Uzbekhistan)

Chris Newman

1st Assistant Director

Katya Nikolayeva

Production Assistant (St Petersburg)

James C Norton

Production Runner

Robin O'donoghue

Rerecording Mixer (Uzbekhistan)

Viktor Okovitey

Special Effects Director (St Petersburg)

Jeffrey Oldman

Unit Driver

Alexandr Pantushin

Pyrotechnic (Uzbekhistan)

Rihsivoj Parpier

Electrician (Uzbekhistan)

Cath Pater-lancucki

Additional Costume Maker

Andrei Peshehodov

Translator (St Petersburg)

Maartten Piersma

Construction Team

Ira Pleshakova

Unit Driver (St Petersburg)

Lubava Popova

Translator (St Petersburg)

Sally Potter

Screenwriter

Sandy Powell

Costume Designer

John Rawsthorn

Other

Barry Read

Bestboy

Steve Read

Electrician

Ted Read

Gaffer

Yevgeni Reshetnikov

Production Assistant (St Petersburg)

Vasily Reva

Assistant Art Director (St Petersburg)

Kelly Richdale

Translator (St Petersburg)

Sam Riley

Assistant Art Director

Martin Robinson

Foley (Uzbekhistan)

Mike Robinson

Other

Alexei Rodionov

Director Of Photography

Jan Roelfs

Production Designer

Ludmila Romanovskaya

Assistant Art Director (St Petersburg)

Stanislav Romanovsky

Art Director (St Petersburg)

Morag Ross

Makeup Supervisor

Ludmila Sadovskaya

Accountant (St Petersburg)

Richard Salmon

Associate Producer

Mathilde Sandberg

Other

Herve Schneid

Editor

Gabrielle Scott

Production Assistant (St Petersburg)

Rashid Sharafutdinov

Set Dresser (Uzbekhistan)

Asror Sharipov

Other

Christopher Sheppard

Producer (Adventure)

Larisa Sherbina

Wardrobe Assistant (Uzbekhistan)

Viktor Shevyakov

Other

Igor Shishko

Unit Driver (St Petersburg)

Feodor Shoakhmedov

Set Dresser (Uzbekhistan)

Kate Slee

Other

Gajrat Sobirov

Transportation Manager (Uzbekhistan)

Vitaly Sobolev

Co-Producer (Lenfilm)

Clare Spragge

Wardrobe Supervisor

Jack Stew

Foley Artist (Uzbekhistan)

Annie Symons

Additional Costume Maker

Piotr Tabus

Labourer (St Petersburg Crew)

Linda Termars

Other

Natalia Tokarskikh

Production Coordinator (St Petersburg)

Yuri Tomachayev

Carpenter (St Petersburg)

Michael Trent

2nd Assistant Editor (Uzbekhistan)

Sergei Tribunski

Labourer (St Petersburg)

Valentina Tugova

Cashier (Uzbekhistan)

Feodor Tumenev

Deputy Head Of Production (Uzbekhistan)

Asror Umarov

Electrician (Uzbekhistan)

Khasan Usmanov

Bestboy (Uzbekhistan)

Wilbert Van Dorp

Construction Manager

Matthijs Van Heijningen

Co-Producer (Sigma)

Todd Van Hulzen

Scenic Artist

Dory Van Noort

Construction Team

Ben Van Os

Production Designer

Ank Van Straalen

Assistant Art Director

Dien Van Straalen

Additional Costume Design

Esther Van Wijk

Other

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Historical
Fantasy
Period
Adaptation
Release Date
1992
Production Company
British Screen Finance; Cinesite Europe, Ltd.; Completion Bond Company Inc; Corbett & Keene; Dynamic International; Frameline Ltd; Goldcrest; Goldcrest Post Production; Location Caterers; Mikado Film; Rollins Burdick Hunter; Sales Company; Simon Olswang; Twickenham Film Studios; Wavevend
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Classics; Budapest Film; Electric Pictures/Contemporary Films Ltd; Pandora Films; Rialto Films; Sony Pictures Classics; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Location
St. Petersburg, Russia; London, England, United Kingdom; Uzbekhistan, Russia

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1993

Best Costume Design

1993

Articles

Orlando


Slim, tall, ginger, and intense, Oscar®-winner Tilda Swinton has become one of the most respected actresses of her generation. But in 1992, when Sally Potter cast her as Orlando in her idiosyncratic adaptation of Virginia Woolf's revolutionary 1928 novel "Orlando: A Biography," Swinton was largely unknown. She had been busy in theater and on television in Britain and was a defining presence in the provocative films of Derek Jarman. Orlando may not have made her a star, but it certainly introduced her to filmgoers the world over and launched a career that since blossomed.

Orlando is just the kind of adventurous project that appealed to the actress, the story of an androgynously beautiful young aristocrat named Orlando who is lover to Queen Elizabeth I. "Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old," commands the Queen, and he obeys, remaining unchanged over four centuries. Or almost unchanged. One morning some hundred years later, the lad looks into the mirror while dressing and realizes he has transformed into a woman. "Same person, no difference at all," she muses. "Just a different sex."

British filmmaker Sally Potter, who came from experimental films and documentaries, had made only one feature before tackling this project. She wrote her first treatment in the 1980s, initially setting it aside when she was told that it would be too difficult to realize, then returning to tackle that challenge head on. Orlando became a true multinational production. Five producers from five different countries came together to make the film, which was still small by studio standards (the final budget was about $5 million); the preparations, from raising money to scouting locations, went on for four years before production could begin. After long negotiations, a deal was made to shoot the film in Russia, where their production dollar would stretch farther. The production was able to recreate centuries of cultural history, from Orlando's lavish manor to the frozen Thames of 17th century London to 18th century Constantinople, on location in Leningrad and, later, in Uzbekistan. Very little was shot in the studio, and most of that involved special effects sequences.

To find the cinematic counterpart to Virginia Woolf's prose, and remain true to the slippery story that spans four hundred years and the transformation of its main character from a man to a woman, Potter combined the experimental tools and feminist approach of her earlier films with the lush imagery of art-house period pieces. A century or decades may pass over the course of a single fluid sequence or suddenly in a cut and Orlando speaks to the audience in brief, often witty asides to the camera, Potter's cinematic solution to the direct address sequences from the novel. According to Potter, the original screenplay was full of such moments, including a few long speeches, but she pared them back through the shooting and the editing until there are only a few, very brief addresses, and in some cases as little as a conspiratorial glance, to achieve "a sort of complicity with the camera."

Androgyny and sexual confusion abounds. Swinton plays a young man through much of the film and Potter craftily cast queer icon Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth, a man playing a woman opposite a woman playing a man, to help foreground the complicated swirl of gender and sexual identity in the film. "He is the true queen of England, he's my idea of royalty," is how Potter explained his casting in a 2008 interview. And she cast singer Jimmy Somerville, a male soprano with an ethereal, girlish voice, as an angel in Orlando's visions.

Within this slightly skewed perspective, the flouncy, flamboyant male fashions and long curly wigs donned for formal meetings and social occasions take on a whole new meaning in terms of social image, male friendship, romantic relationships, and companionship. While Orlando accepts his new life as a woman in a single comment, her social and legal identity becomes completely redefined in this transformation. Yet Potter insists that it is not necessarily a feminist film, but a portrait of the difficulty in being a human being. "One of the things we're saying here is that men and women have far more in common than we've imagined, that the differences between us have been grossly exaggerated and made the basis for huge pain, grief and misery. Women have difficult lives, but men have difficult lives, too," she explained in a 1993 interview.

Orlando had its world premiere at the 1992 Venice Film Festival, where it was greeted with largely positive reception, and opened in the United States in 1993. "This ravishing and witty spectacle invades the mind through eyes that are dazzled without ever being anesthetized," wrote Vincent Canby in The New York Times, who singled out Swinton's performance in his review. "With the firmest but lightest of touches, she has spun gossamer."

Producer: Christopher Sheppard
Director: Sally Potter
Screenplay: Sally Potter; Virginia Woolf (novel)
Cinematography: Aleksei Rodionov
Art Direction: Michael Buchanan, Michael Howells
Music: David Motion, Sally Potter
Film Editing: Hervé Schneid
Cast: Tilda Swinton (Orlando), Billy Zane (Shelmerdine), Quentin Crisp (Queen Elizabeth I), John Bott (Orlando's Father), Elaine Banham (Orlando's Mother), Anna Farnworth (Clorinda), Sara Mair-Thomas (Favilla), Anna Healy (Euphrosyne), Dudley Sutton (King James I), Simon Russell Beale (Earl of Moray).
C-94m. Letterboxed.

by Sean Axmaker

Sources:
Venice Film Festival Press Conference at the film's World Premier, 1992
Interview with Sally Potter, Venice Film Festival, 1992
"The Talk of Hollywood: How Orland Finds Her True Self," Bernard Weinraub. 1993, The New York Times.
Select Scene Commentary with Director Sally Potter. 2010, Sony Pictures DVD.

Orlando

Orlando

Slim, tall, ginger, and intense, Oscar®-winner Tilda Swinton has become one of the most respected actresses of her generation. But in 1992, when Sally Potter cast her as Orlando in her idiosyncratic adaptation of Virginia Woolf's revolutionary 1928 novel "Orlando: A Biography," Swinton was largely unknown. She had been busy in theater and on television in Britain and was a defining presence in the provocative films of Derek Jarman. Orlando may not have made her a star, but it certainly introduced her to filmgoers the world over and launched a career that since blossomed. Orlando is just the kind of adventurous project that appealed to the actress, the story of an androgynously beautiful young aristocrat named Orlando who is lover to Queen Elizabeth I. "Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old," commands the Queen, and he obeys, remaining unchanged over four centuries. Or almost unchanged. One morning some hundred years later, the lad looks into the mirror while dressing and realizes he has transformed into a woman. "Same person, no difference at all," she muses. "Just a different sex." British filmmaker Sally Potter, who came from experimental films and documentaries, had made only one feature before tackling this project. She wrote her first treatment in the 1980s, initially setting it aside when she was told that it would be too difficult to realize, then returning to tackle that challenge head on. Orlando became a true multinational production. Five producers from five different countries came together to make the film, which was still small by studio standards (the final budget was about $5 million); the preparations, from raising money to scouting locations, went on for four years before production could begin. After long negotiations, a deal was made to shoot the film in Russia, where their production dollar would stretch farther. The production was able to recreate centuries of cultural history, from Orlando's lavish manor to the frozen Thames of 17th century London to 18th century Constantinople, on location in Leningrad and, later, in Uzbekistan. Very little was shot in the studio, and most of that involved special effects sequences. To find the cinematic counterpart to Virginia Woolf's prose, and remain true to the slippery story that spans four hundred years and the transformation of its main character from a man to a woman, Potter combined the experimental tools and feminist approach of her earlier films with the lush imagery of art-house period pieces. A century or decades may pass over the course of a single fluid sequence or suddenly in a cut and Orlando speaks to the audience in brief, often witty asides to the camera, Potter's cinematic solution to the direct address sequences from the novel. According to Potter, the original screenplay was full of such moments, including a few long speeches, but she pared them back through the shooting and the editing until there are only a few, very brief addresses, and in some cases as little as a conspiratorial glance, to achieve "a sort of complicity with the camera." Androgyny and sexual confusion abounds. Swinton plays a young man through much of the film and Potter craftily cast queer icon Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth, a man playing a woman opposite a woman playing a man, to help foreground the complicated swirl of gender and sexual identity in the film. "He is the true queen of England, he's my idea of royalty," is how Potter explained his casting in a 2008 interview. And she cast singer Jimmy Somerville, a male soprano with an ethereal, girlish voice, as an angel in Orlando's visions. Within this slightly skewed perspective, the flouncy, flamboyant male fashions and long curly wigs donned for formal meetings and social occasions take on a whole new meaning in terms of social image, male friendship, romantic relationships, and companionship. While Orlando accepts his new life as a woman in a single comment, her social and legal identity becomes completely redefined in this transformation. Yet Potter insists that it is not necessarily a feminist film, but a portrait of the difficulty in being a human being. "One of the things we're saying here is that men and women have far more in common than we've imagined, that the differences between us have been grossly exaggerated and made the basis for huge pain, grief and misery. Women have difficult lives, but men have difficult lives, too," she explained in a 1993 interview. Orlando had its world premiere at the 1992 Venice Film Festival, where it was greeted with largely positive reception, and opened in the United States in 1993. "This ravishing and witty spectacle invades the mind through eyes that are dazzled without ever being anesthetized," wrote Vincent Canby in The New York Times, who singled out Swinton's performance in his review. "With the firmest but lightest of touches, she has spun gossamer." Producer: Christopher Sheppard Director: Sally Potter Screenplay: Sally Potter; Virginia Woolf (novel) Cinematography: Aleksei Rodionov Art Direction: Michael Buchanan, Michael Howells Music: David Motion, Sally Potter Film Editing: HervĂ© Schneid Cast: Tilda Swinton (Orlando), Billy Zane (Shelmerdine), Quentin Crisp (Queen Elizabeth I), John Bott (Orlando's Father), Elaine Banham (Orlando's Mother), Anna Farnworth (Clorinda), Sara Mair-Thomas (Favilla), Anna Healy (Euphrosyne), Dudley Sutton (King James I), Simon Russell Beale (Earl of Moray). C-94m. Letterboxed. by Sean Axmaker Sources: Venice Film Festival Press Conference at the film's World Premier, 1992 Interview with Sally Potter, Venice Film Festival, 1992 "The Talk of Hollywood: How Orland Finds Her True Self," Bernard Weinraub. 1993, The New York Times. Select Scene Commentary with Director Sally Potter. 2010, Sony Pictures DVD.

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for a 1993 Spirit Award by the Independent Feature Project/West for best foreign film.

Winner of the Felix Award for Young European Film of the Year at the 1993 European Film Awards. In addition, Tilda Swinton was nominated for Actress of the Year.

Released in United States 1993

Released in United States 1999

Released in United States January 1993

Released in United States June 25, 1993

Released in United States November 1992

Released in United States on Video May 11, 1994

Released in United States September 1992

Released in United States September 1996

Released in United States Summer June 11, 1993

Shown at New Directors/New Films series in New York City March 19 - April 4, 1993.

Shown at Thessaloniki International Film Festival (in competition) November 6-15, 1992.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Contemporary World Cinema) September 10-19, 1992.

Shown at Venice Film Festival (in competition) September 1-12, 1992.

Shown in New York City (Anthology Film Archives) as part of program "Best of the Indies" September 5-15, 1996.

Shown in New York City (BAM Rose Cinema) as part of program "The Feminine Eye: Twenty Years of Women's Cinema" January 28 - February 7, 1999.

Costume designer Sandy Powell received an Evening Standard Award for technical achievement (1993).

Began shooting February 17, 1992.

Completed shooting April 28, 1992.

Filmmaker Sally Potter formed her film production company, the London-based Adventure Pictures, with producer Christopher Sheppard in 1989.

"The Feminine Eye" program celebrates New York Women in Film & Television's 20th anniversary.

Released in United States 1993 (Shown at New Directors/New Films series in New York City March 19 - April 4, 1993.)

Released in United States 1999 (Shown in New York City (BAM Rose Cinema) as part of program "The Feminine Eye: Twenty Years of Women's Cinema" January 28 - February 7, 1999.)

Released in United States January 1993 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival January 21-31, 1993.)

Released in United States Summer June 11, 1993

Released in United States June 25, 1993 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video May 11, 1994

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Venice Film Festival (in competition) September 1-12, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown in New York City (Anthology Film Archives) as part of program "Best of the Indies" September 5-15, 1996.)

Released in United States November 1992 (Shown at Thessaloniki International Film Festival (in competition) November 6-15, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Contemporary World Cinema) September 10-19, 1992.)