This weekend at the Venice Film Festival a fortunate few will be the first to see the last film Orson Welles made, The Other Side of the Wind.
As is oft to happen, and here to even one of the greats, projects succumb to the business end of filmmaking and are never completed, lying in vaults, only existing in whispers. Welles' self financed film was shot over six years, stopping and starting for many reasons, replacing actors even after scenes were shot. The story plays like a scratched record for sure, but even someone like Welles could not snap his fingers and make a movie just appear.
So here we are, some forty plus years since the last scene was shot and the world will finally get to see Welles' final film, thanks to the work of producers Frank Marshall and Filip Jan Rymsza and a dedicated restoration team.
The Other Side of the Wind will premiere at Venice this weekend and Netflix will release the film theatrically and online on November 2nd. You will find the trailer below.
In 1970, legendary director Orson Welles (CITIZEN KANE) began filming what would ultimately be his final cinematic opus with a cast of Hollywood luminaries including John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg and Welles’s partner during his later years, Oja Kodar. Beset by financial issues, the production ultimately stretched years and gained notoriety, never to be completed or released. More than a thousand reels of film negatives languished in a Paris vault until March of 2017, when producers Frank Marshall (who served as Welles’s production manager during his initial shooting) and Filip Jan Rymsza spearheaded efforts to have the film completed after over 40 years.
Featuring a new score by Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand and reassembled by a technical team including Oscar-winning editor Bob Murawski, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND is Orson Welles’s vision fulfilled. It tells the story of grizzled director J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (Huston), who returns to Los Angeles after years in self-exile in Europe with plans to complete work on his own innovative comeback movie. Both a satire of the classic studio system and the New Hollywood that was shaking things up, Welles’s last artistic testament is a fascinating time capsule of a now-distant era in moviemaking as well as the long-awaited “new” work from an indisputable master.