Netflix to Release Orson Welles' Final Film: The Other Side of the Wind


#1

32 years after Orson Welles passed away, and nearly 47 since he began working on it, there’s finally a chance his final completed film might see the light of day. According to The New York Times, Netflix has committed to releasing The Other Side of the Wind, which stars John Huston, Dennis Hopper, Edmond O’Brien, and Peter Bogdanovich.

A couple of years ago, Vanity Fair posted an amazing excerpt of Josh Karp’s book which details the films troubled history.


#2

“After all these years, I can’t quite believe we are starting post production on ‘The Other Side of the Wind,’” producer Frank Marshall said. “Thanks to Netflix, we have been able to assemble an amazingly talented post-production team to take on the exciting and daunting challenge of completing Orson’s last film. It was an extraordinary experience to work with him 40 years ago and it will be an honor to help see his vision finally come together on the screen.”


#3

Exciting news. This one has been in limbo for so long I’d almost forgotten about it. Oja Kodar doesn’t come across super great in the accounts I’ve read of the negotiations.


#4

Yes, even though Josh Karp’s tell-all book treads very carefully whenever Oja’s involved, he makes it clear that she certainly delayed efforts to move forward by reneging on various deals (e.g. Showtime). I guess it’s such a tricky project because although fans and cinephiles want to see another Welles film no matter the condition, the filmmaker’s family and colleagues will likely want to avoid anything that could damage his legacy, like a repeat of Jess Franco disastrous effort to revive Don Quixote, at all costs.

There was an article in a 2016 edition of Cinema Journal that deep dived into the production history of Don Quuxite. The researcher revealed there was additional, usable footage located in various archives around the world which the world would likely never see, as Welles’ family is reluctant to hand the reigns over to an outside party. As part of the promotion, I believe Netflix is producing a documentary on The Other Side of the Wind to release simultaneously with the film, which should help contextualize the work since it’s going to be 40 years divorced from its cultural context.

There were times where it seemed like the universe was actively working to sabotage any efforts for this film to reach completion. It even makes troubled projects from other mediums, works like DNF and Chinese Democracy, look like small potatoes by comparison! Even if the final film doesn’t come together, I’m completely content with anything that offers a glimpse into what Welles producing on the fringes of New Hollywood looked like.


#5

Vanity Fair has a feature revealing some new details about Welles final film, including Michel Legrand, the composer behind the score for F for Fake, returned to create the music, Netflix financed the post-production, which was roughly in the neighborhood of $10 million, and that the film’s finally finished!

“I don’t know what I’m going to do after the movie comes out,” says Jurassic World and Bourne Identity producer Frank Marshall, 71, who was a production manager on the 1970s set of The Other Side of the Wind and has shepherded the completion of the project with Peter Bogdanovich and a Polish-born producer named Filip Jan Rymsza. “It seems like I’ve worked on this every month for the last 40 years.”

“As a Welles fan, this movie lands so hard,” says The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, 44, one of a handful of people who have seen the completed film, minus its finished score; it runs an hour and 57 minutes, not including end credits. “On a style level, it’s cut in a way that feels slightly beyond where we are now. It’s got a very fast, collage-like feel. This movie keys directly into what’s grand and tragic about [Welles’s] later years. It taps directly into the fuse box of that tragedy. I’ve seen it twice, and I need to see it a dozen more times.”

By this past January, the producers felt they were ready to show the finished film to a small group, which included Johnson, Quentin Tarantino, and Alexander Payne. “We were all gobsmacked,” Johnson says. The conversation lingered so long after the screening that the valet-parking employees went home, leaving Tarantino carless.


#6

O frabjous day!


#7

Nextflix has released a trailer’s ahead of the film’s premiere at Venice!


#8

Will be accompanied by a Netflix documentary called They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, which examines the production of Welles final feature. Trailer below:


#9

When is the premiere in Venice?


#10

It premiered last month to positive notices, which is quite an accomplishment given how troubled the film’s history was. I think it’ll be available to Netflix subscribers in November.





#11

I just finished watching “The Other Side of the Wind”. Its pretty spectacular. Its like listening to a David Bowie album. It is SO much a 1970s film, but its also SO much a film from the 30s or 40s. The movie is in two pieces, a “documentary” of the last night of a beloved director’s life and the unfinished troubled work print of the movie is is working on. John Huston and Peter Bogdonovich are hypnotizing. I don’t want to spoil too much about the film, but it is amazing to watch something like this, at long last. In particular, that is a sex scene in the “movie in the movie” that is so visceral and raw that it is incredible to me that Welles had never filmed a sex scene before (that we’ve seen). It fits into the “move that takes place in one night” category, as well. I whole-heartedly recommend this picture. Welles is one of those people that have a legend about them, and every time you watch one of their movies, you understand why. This movie is so modern, its strange to believe its more than 40 years old, and a travesty that we are only seeing it now.