One of the most fascinating new movies in 2018 – and if you want to claim it's one of the best, I'm all ears – it's actually over four decades old. The director who abused his existence passed away 33 years ago in 1985. It's called "The Other Side of the Wind", the long-lost last Orson Welles movie, and now you can watch Netflix.
And, man, would you ever.
If we finally saw the invisible work of Welles, one of the most important talents of the film's history, as well as one of his greatest and most self-indulgent ego, unexpectedly pleased the left field. At the beginning of the seventies of the last century, the director came with two decades of persecution in Europe, where he was inspired by years of Hollywood distrust and abuse.
The director of classic class years was a couple: a smart 25-year-old who made "Citizen Kane" and thought he was better than the rest of the city. But to new Hollywood directors of the 1960s – young hip and star producers whose films under the influence of European countries have spoken of counter-cultures – Welles was a rebel patriarch. To its disappointment, it did not turn into money to create new movies.
Aging auteur pressure on no matter. During the first half of the seventies, Welles worked with a crewmower and screenwriter of the film "The Other Side of the Wind", a film that also designed a parody of new Hollywood exaggerations and won the children in his game. But funding was low, and even when the Iranian revolution cut off the finances of the main investor (which happened to be related to chess), the film was seized by producers and for decades closed in the Paris Treasury.
Many people have worked over the years to get Welles' song of swaddling prisoners with film rights and complete their late master notes and wishes. Director Peter Bogdanovich, Welles, who plays "On the other side of the wind," and producer Frank Marshall, the main Hollywood power player who worked as a crew member on the film, has been making efforts, and Netflix has finally put in the funds it takes to finish the project in the final stage of making.
Beginning in 1971, "The Other Side of the Wind" debuted at the Venice Film Festival in August, and last week was premiered at Netflix. (It is screened in New York and Los Angeles and can still be found on Boston screens.)
The film is a mess – deliberately and otherwise – but it's also gas. "On the other side of the wind" are actually two films in one. The first lieutenant, a chaotic mockumentary of old Hollywood director Jake Hannaford (starred by the old Hollywood director John Huston, who apparently stood in Welles), struggling to gain his final film.
This film is called "The Other Side of the Wind", and in the long excerpts we see, in studio shooting rooms and endless entertainment that Hannaford casts for himself, this is the parody of the movies by Antonioni, Bergman, and Hollywood directors who have emulated them.
Since Welles apparently was incapable of deliberately shooting a bad movie, those movie sequences in the film are also enchanting, captured and decorated with unmistakable film-shooting skills and featuring a striking (and unobstructed) form of Oda Kodara, a statue of a Croatian actress and a writer of Welles a companion at that time.
If Hannaford's "The Other Side of the Wind" is a pretentious twin act that is also quite amazing (or vice versa), Welles's "On the other side of the wind" – which means the desperate swing of screaming and screaming around Jake's – is rich, Rabelaish's and full-point observations in Hollywood. Since Welles had filmed and invited all those who knew strangers for years, the film is virtually a book of faces of early seventies.
Bogdanovich plays a young director whose career commercially surpassed his mentor (as he did in real life); he replaced the Rich Little comedy in the role, but Little still pops up in faux-doc's corners. Dennis Hopper offers rocks, Susan Strasberg hovers as a movie critic suspiciously as Welles' noise is Pauline Kael. Lilly Palmer appears in the role of Marlene Dietrich, and director Norman Foster has the most prestigious role as Billy Boyle, the old hangman.
So was Orson Welles the man who invented mockumentary? Well, yes – 1941, with false news stories opening "Citizen Kane". Chaos The "other side of the wind" with many goals has more of it than the Altman-esque circus atmosphere but the bite of dialogue – the mordant, exhausted scent of celebrities, media, movies, Hollywood games – is all Welles.
To add to the meta film hijinks, a 98-minute documentary about the full-fledged "Second Side of the Wind" tracks it on Netflix. Director Morgan Neville, "They Will Love Me When I'm Dead" is as fascinating as Welles's film and, in certain ways, more scary because it describes in detail the creative tragicomedy behind scenes – endless casting productions.
(For completers, there is also a great 40-minute mini-doc about the rescue and editing of Welles's film called "A Final Cut for Orson: 40 Years in Construction", which is in the Netflix section of Trailer and More on "The Other Side of the Wind". )
If you are watching a movie before a documentary or documentary before the movie? Depends. If you come to Welles, only with the "Citizen Kane" college under your belt, Nevillin doc should get you ready to prepare for the unusual "wind" style. again old movie shooters and / or longtime friend Orson, dive right, then let go: "They'll love me when I'm dead" provide a dishy background.
Fan or not, it is up to you to decide whether this is the "Other Side of the Wind", which Orson wanted to say, on the other side of the grave. Of course the film was never finished: Despite Welles' claims of opposing documentaries in Neville – and as unlucky dramatist Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie's Kaufman's Metaphilam 2008, "Synecdoche, New York" – a legendary emigrant seems to have taken a version of his life that somehow right.
It can be argued that all Orson Welles films were in the end Orson Welles. More than any other, "Wind" could have been a big white knife that was simultaneously persecuted and was.