Morgan Neville: ‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Is No Orson Welles Biography

At the IDA Screening Series, the documentarian said seeking the truth from Welles was “a fool’s journey.”

“There’s a fair amount of debate over which you should see first,” filmmaker Morgan Neville told the crowd at an International Documentary Association screening of his latest doc, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” about the making of Orson Welles’ final, previously unfinished film.

The documentary and a completed version of Welles’ movie, “The Other Side of the Wind,” are both available to watch on Netflix, though Neville said, “they were not meant to come out together.”

The “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” director began working with the new producers of “Wind” four years ago, when they thought they were going to get the previously unseen footage (which had been locked in a vault for decades due to legal disputes) in just a few weeks. They would finish “Wind,” and Neville would make a documentary about the making of the film. But then those “few weeks” turned into years, until Neville finally received the footage while in the middle of making “Neighbor.”

“It just became this insane process of them making the feature film, me making the documentary,” he said. “The film itself, the thing that hit me…the film is by far the most avant-garde film of his career.”

While he’s now seen the finished product, he knows he won’t be able to watch it the same way as everyone else. “I found it fascinating, but I was seeing it through such a unique prism that I don’t think I’ll be able to see it [objectively] for years.”

“The Other Side of the Wind”

Netflix

Neville’s goal for his own project was to give audiences a glimpse at Welles’ mindset in the final years of his life, which Neville calls “the least understood period.” Welles had been living in Europe for decades, and was viewed as a has-been in Hollywood because, Neville says, “nobody saw the work he was doing in that time.”

The film isn’t a biography — “Orson lived a huge life, and there’s no way to do that in less than 20 hours,” Neville said — and instead borrows its structure from Welles’ own “F for Fake.” “It’s the real documentary Orson made in his life,” Neville said, adding, “It’s about fakery and fakers and ultimately the truth.”

But as for the truth of Welles’ final film, don’t sweat the details.

“It’s Orson,” Neville said. “Truth is the fool’s journey when it comes to Orson.”

Both “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” and “The Other Side of the Wind” are available to stream on Netflix.

The IDA Documentary Screening Series brings some of the year’s most acclaimed documentary films to the IDA community and members of industry guilds and organizations. Films selected for the Series receive exclusive access to an audience of tastemakers and doc lovers during the important Awards campaigning season from September through November. For more information about the series, and a complete schedule, visit IDA.

How Peter Bogdanovich, Frank Marshall and Netflix’s Money Saved Orson Welles’ Final Movie

This story about “The Other Side of the Wind” first appeared in the Race Begins issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

Peter Bogdanovich was at home on a Monday morning in 1970 when he got a call from his friend Orson Welles. “What are you doing on Thursday?” Welles said to Bogdanovich, a critic, film scholar and occasional actor just venturing into directing.

“I’m flying to Texas to make ‘The Last Picture Show,’” said Bogdanovich, whose career would explode with that classic film.

Welles was undeterred. “What time are you leaving?” he said. “Three o’clock,” Bogdanovich said. “Good,” said Welles. “Meet me on that road by the airport at noon.”

Nearly 40 years later, Bogdanovich chuckles thinking of the conversation. “I said to Orson, ‘What are you doing?’” he said. “He had read the script to ‘The Last Picture Show’ and referred to it as a dirty picture. And he said, ‘You’re shooting a dirty picture, so I’m shooting a dirty picture.’”

Also Read: ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ Film Review: Orson Welles’ Final Film Is Worth the Wait

Welles’ “dirty picture,” complete with a lengthy, bacchanalian party scene and a long stretch that parodied a Michelangelo Antonioni-style experimental film, complete with copious nudity, was “The Other Side of the Wind.” It told the story of a mercurial, legendary director (John Huston) struggling to complete his final film in the face of Hollywood indifference, and a younger protégé on his way up in the town.

So Bogdanovich met Welles near the airport that Thursday in 1970, filmed a couple of scenes, then went off and made “The Last Picture Show” and a string of other hits. And Welles never finished his movie. He had funding problems, creative problems, more funding problems — and when he died in 1985, “The Other Side of the Wind” entered the realm of cinema legend as the final, unfinished act of a giant who never quite recovered from the fact that his first movie, “Citizen Kane,” was more beloved than anything else he ever did.

But now, 48 years after Welles filmed its first scene, “The Other Side the Wind” has been completed with the help of Bogdanovich and producers Filip Jan Rymsza and Frank Marshall.

The “new” film is accompanied by two different documentaries: “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” a Morgan Neville doc built around Welles’ outtakes, and the lesser-known “A Final Cut for Orson,” a chronicle of the film’s completion directed by Ryan Suffern.

Also Read: ‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Film Review: Morgan Neville’s Orson Welles Doc Is Cineaste Catnip

And the four-decade-old footage has become one of the boldest, weirdest films of 2018, a vicious Hollywood fever dream that reeks of the early ’70s but also feels fresher than just about anything produced this year.

“It was one of a kind,” said Rymsza. “There’s still nothing like it, and that’s a testament to Orson.”

But it didn’t come easily. Welles’ career was at a low ebb by the late ’60s, and his biting and wildly experimental look at both the old and new Hollywoods got off to a disjointed start; it wasn’t until a couple of years into the shoot that he finally cast Huston in a role that was at least partially based on Welles himself.

The other lead role was tricky, too. Welles originally cast comic impressionist Rich Little to play a character inspired by Bogdanovich. “I called him one day just to see how things were going,” said Bogdanovich. “He said, ‘Terrible. I just had to let Rich Little go. It cost me 25Gs, and I don’t have that kind of bread!’ I said, ‘Why did you let him go?’ ‘He can’t act!’”

Bogdanovich suggested that he play the role himself; Welles agreed, and reshot those earlier scenes in which Bogdanovich had played a different character. Welles shot on and off until 1976, when financial troubles forced him to stop.

Also Read: Watch the Trailer for Orson Welles’ Lost Film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

In the aftermath of his death, the rights to the footage were tied up with competing claims. “Such a mess,” said Bogdanovich. “Between Beatrice, his daughter, and Oja [Kodar], his companion, and other people who jumped up and said they had the rights because somebody had signed a thing 10 years earlier, it was just crazy. And everybody backed away from it.”

Showtime tried to get the project off the ground a few times, without much success. And at Cannes in 2010, in the midst of the stops and starts and confusion, the Polish-born Rymsza learned about the project and began investigating.

“It was the Holy Grail of unfinished films,” he said, “and that was too enticing to pass up.” Rymsza started by getting ahold of the script — and even without seeing any footage, he was intrigued. “The fact that this was a movie about a filmmaker who’s making a comeback picture and dies before he finishes it, that level of metafiction is already too good to be true,” he said.

“And you could see the bitterness and the darkness and in some respects the pettiness. You’re talking about a master filmmaker commenting about filmmaking, so you know it’s gonna be fascinating, whether or not it’s going to be good.”

Also Read: Cicely Tyson, Kathleen Kennedy Among 2018 Honorary Oscar Winners

About 10 hours of a work print existed, which Rymsza said was “very disjointed, and it had been poorly digitized, but it provided a glimpse into what it could be.” Another 96 hours of footage was found, and Rymsza and Marshall had a breakthrough when they brought the idea to Netflix, which said it wanted “The Other Side of the Wind” plus the two related documentaries.

“Once Netflix was involved, everything was ironed out quickly,” said Bogdanovich. “They spent a lot of money on it, and everybody got paid.”

Welles had left very few scenes unfilmed: dummies being hit by bullets, little people setting off fireworks on the roof during a raucous party, and a bit of the ending at a drive-in movie theater in the San Fernando Valley.

“They were very isolated things,” said Rymsza. “We didn’t want to shoot anything per se, but we realized that a lot of the things could be handled with digital effects.”

The VFX wizards at Industrial Light and Magic were also asked to digitally remove Rich Little from a scene that was shot before Welles fired him.

One final fix: Welles hadn’t recorded a piece of narration that was supposed to open the film, so Bogdanovich recorded it in character, after writing a paragraph to introduce his character to the audience.

Also Read: Netflix to Surpass 147 Million Viewers in US by End of Year, Study Finds

“Orson had a really clear blueprint,” said Rymsza. “But at some point you leave the blueprint and get to the point where Orson would have arrived, the assembly. And then you have to interpret.”

They leaned heavily on Welles’ work print, which he said gave them a sense of the style and approach the director had wanted throughout the film. They also kept in mind that Welles famously disliked films that were more than two hours long, so they trimmed away as much as they could to get it close to that mark. (They overshot by two minutes.)

“Slowly, as we trimmed, the film revealed itself to us,” Rymsza said. “Some things could have been put together in a few different ways, but usually one way felt like the direction Orson was going.” Even with Netflix’s money, the project took another year to complete.

“We even went over budget, and they never complained,” said Bogdanovich approvingly. “I think they knew they had something special. There’s not going to be another Orson Welles movie.”

To read more of TheWrap’s Race Begins issue, click here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Peter Bogdanovich Says It Only Took ‘One Good Idea’ to Make His Buster Keaton Doc ‘The Great Buster’

Bogdanovich: I Was the Son of Frankenstein

‘Free Solo,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Land IDA Documentary Nominations

This story about “The Other Side of the Wind” first appeared in the Race Begins issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

Peter Bogdanovich was at home on a Monday morning in 1970 when he got a call from his friend Orson Welles. “What are you doing on Thursday?” Welles said to Bogdanovich, a critic, film scholar and occasional actor just venturing into directing.

“I’m flying to Texas to make ‘The Last Picture Show,'” said Bogdanovich, whose career would explode with that classic film.

Welles was undeterred. “What time are you leaving?” he said. “Three o’clock,” Bogdanovich said. “Good,” said Welles. “Meet me on that road by the airport at noon.”

Nearly 40 years later, Bogdanovich chuckles thinking of the conversation. “I said to Orson, ‘What are you doing?'” he said. “He had read the script to ‘The Last Picture Show’ and referred to it as a dirty picture. And he said, ‘You’re shooting a dirty picture, so I’m shooting a dirty picture.'”

Welles’ “dirty picture,” complete with a lengthy, bacchanalian party scene and a long stretch that parodied a Michelangelo Antonioni-style experimental film, complete with copious nudity, was “The Other Side of the Wind.” It told the story of a mercurial, legendary director (John Huston) struggling to complete his final film in the face of Hollywood indifference, and a younger protégé on his way up in the town.

So Bogdanovich met Welles near the airport that Thursday in 1970, filmed a couple of scenes, then went off and made “The Last Picture Show” and a string of other hits. And Welles never finished his movie. He had funding problems, creative problems, more funding problems — and when he died in 1985, “The Other Side of the Wind” entered the realm of cinema legend as the final, unfinished act of a giant who never quite recovered from the fact that his first movie, “Citizen Kane,” was more beloved than anything else he ever did.

But now, 48 years after Welles filmed its first scene, “The Other Side the Wind” has been completed with the help of Bogdanovich and producers Filip Jan Rymsza and Frank Marshall.

The “new” film is accompanied by two different documentaries: “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” a Morgan Neville doc built around Welles’ outtakes, and the lesser-known “A Final Cut for Orson,” a chronicle of the film’s completion directed by Ryan Suffern.

And the four-decade-old footage has become one of the boldest, weirdest films of 2018, a vicious Hollywood fever dream that reeks of the early ’70s but also feels fresher than just about anything produced this year.

“It was one of a kind,” said Rymsza. “There’s still nothing like it, and that’s a testament to Orson.”

But it didn’t come easily. Welles’ career was at a low ebb by the late ’60s, and his biting and wildly experimental look at both the old and new Hollywoods got off to a disjointed start; it wasn’t until a couple of years into the shoot that he finally cast Huston in a role that was at least partially based on Welles himself.

The other lead role was tricky, too. Welles originally cast comic impressionist Rich Little to play a character inspired by Bogdanovich. “I called him one day just to see how things were going,” said Bogdanovich. “He said, ‘Terrible. I just had to let Rich Little go. It cost me 25Gs, and I don’t have that kind of bread!’ I said, ‘Why did you let him go?’ ‘He can’t act!'”

Bogdanovich suggested that he play the role himself; Welles agreed, and reshot those earlier scenes in which Bogdanovich had played a different character. Welles shot on and off until 1976, when financial troubles forced him to stop.

In the aftermath of his death, the rights to the footage were tied up with competing claims. “Such a mess,” said Bogdanovich. “Between Beatrice, his daughter, and Oja [Kodar], his companion, and other people who jumped up and said they had the rights because somebody had signed a thing 10 years earlier, it was just crazy. And everybody backed away from it.”

Showtime tried to get the project off the ground a few times, without much success. And at Cannes in 2010, in the midst of the stops and starts and confusion, the Polish-born Rymsza learned about the project and began investigating.

“It was the Holy Grail of unfinished films,” he said, “and that was too enticing to pass up.” Rymsza started by getting ahold of the script — and even without seeing any footage, he was intrigued. “The fact that this was a movie about a filmmaker who’s making a comeback picture and dies before he finishes it, that level of metafiction is already too good to be true,” he said.

“And you could see the bitterness and the darkness and in some respects the pettiness. You’re talking about a master filmmaker commenting about filmmaking, so you know it’s gonna be fascinating, whether or not it’s going to be good.”

About 10 hours of a work print existed, which Rymsza said was “very disjointed, and it had been poorly digitized, but it provided a glimpse into what it could be.” Another 96 hours of footage was found, and Rymsza and Marshall had a breakthrough when they brought the idea to Netflix, which said it wanted “The Other Side of the Wind” plus the two related documentaries.

“Once Netflix was involved, everything was ironed out quickly,” said Bogdanovich. “They spent a lot of money on it, and everybody got paid.”

Welles had left very few scenes unfilmed: dummies being hit by bullets, little people setting off fireworks on the roof during a raucous party, and a bit of the ending at a drive-in movie theater in the San Fernando Valley.

“They were very isolated things,” said Rymsza. “We didn’t want to shoot anything per se, but we realized that a lot of the things could be handled with digital effects.”

The VFX wizards at Industrial Light and Magic were also asked to digitally remove Rich Little from a scene that was shot before Welles fired him.

One final fix: Welles hadn’t recorded a piece of narration that was supposed to open the film, so Bogdanovich recorded it in character, after writing a paragraph to introduce his character to the audience.

“Orson had a really clear blueprint,” said Rymsza. “But at some point you leave the blueprint and get to the point where Orson would have arrived, the assembly. And then you have to interpret.”

They leaned heavily on Welles’ work print, which he said gave them a sense of the style and approach the director had wanted throughout the film. They also kept in mind that Welles famously disliked films that were more than two hours long, so they trimmed away as much as they could to get it close to that mark. (They overshot by two minutes.)

“Slowly, as we trimmed, the film revealed itself to us,” Rymsza said. “Some things could have been put together in a few different ways, but usually one way felt like the direction Orson was going.” Even with Netflix’s money, the project took another year to complete.

“We even went over budget, and they never complained,” said Bogdanovich approvingly. “I think they knew they had something special. There’s not going to be another Orson Welles movie.”

To read more of TheWrap’s Race Begins issue, click here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Peter Bogdanovich Says It Only Took 'One Good Idea' to Make His Buster Keaton Doc 'The Great Buster'

Bogdanovich: I Was the Son of Frankenstein

'Free Solo,' 'Minding the Gap,' 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' Land IDA Documentary Nominations

The Orson Welles Film You Can See For the First Time Was His Most Personal Work

“The Other Side of the Wind,” which you can see for the first time ever on Netflix, was a Welles passion project based on elements of his own life.

Upon his death in 1985, Orson Welles left behind a handful of unfinished films that have become the stuff of legend among movie buffs, from his partially filmed adaptation of “Don Quixote” to his original edit of “The Magnificent Ambersons” before the studio recut it to pieces. But of all these projects, it was his postmodern magnum opus “The Other Side of the Wind” that Welles was most obsessed with completing.  Perhaps the reason for this obsession was also the reason he wasn’t able to finish the film – or as many have conjectured, didn’t want to. “Wind”was by far Welles’ most personal work.

Now, using his extensive notes and some rough assemblies, a group of technicians and archivists, led by Peter Bogdanovich and Oscar-winning editor Bob Murawski (“The Hurt Locker”), have been able to piece together something akin to Welles’ original vision of “Wind,” now streaming on Netflix, along with the fascinating documentary “You’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” that traces thefilm’s nearly 50 year journey from conception to release. Both films are manna from heaven for cinephiles.

Shot over six years in a wide range of styles and on various types of film, “The Other Side of the Wind” is a kaleidoscopic and bitter depiction of an aging director (John Huston) on the last day of his life as he celebrates his 70th birthday surrounded by a seemingly endless orgy of friends, enemies, sycophants and strangers. There is also a film within the film, the director’s last, that he screens throughout the party and which makes up roughly half of “Wind.” Welles vigorously denied he was making an autobiographical picture, but the parallels are undeniable.

Here’s a primer on the more personal elements of what can now officially be counted as Welles’ final masterpiece.

“JAKE HANNAFORD” AKA ORSON WELLES

Jake Hannaford, the cigar-chomping, larger than life director at the center of “Wind” was originally modeled after Ernest Hemingway, with whom Welles himself had had a prickly friendship. Welles cast his friend and fellow director John Huston in the role, but later said that if Huston had not been available he would have played Hannaford himself. Frankly, it’s a little surprising he didn’t.

John Huston plays a director who seems very much modeled on Welles himself in “The Other Side of the Wind”

Courtesy of Netflix

Huston effortlessly exudes that macho Hemingway energy and more than fits the part of an aging director (he filmed “The Man Who Would Be King” in between shoots for “Wind”), but there’s so much about the character that is clearly drawn from Welles’ life at that particular moment. Hannaford is a director shunned by the studio system who’s just returning from a self-imposed exile in Europe. Welles himself had famously left Hollywood for Europe after a series of troubled productions rendered him director non grata in the States. Other than a brief return to make the noir classic “Touch of Evil” – another traumatic production that only solidified his exile – Welles remained in Europe for nearly two decades, and upon his return in 1970, quickly began production on “Wind”, a tale of a director broken and misunderstood by the system. Hemingway may have inspired Huston’s performance, but it’s hard not to see Hannaford as a thinly veiled projection of Welles himself.

PETER BOGDANOVICH

Welles first discussed “Wind” during an extensive interview with friend and protégé Peter Bogdanovich. He described an idea he had for a movie about “an older director and a younger director and the betrayal of their friendship.” The fact that Bogdanovich ended up playing this role would add yet another layer of autofiction to the project.

Peter Bogdanovich had a complicated relationship with Welles in real life, much like his own upstart-director character in the film.

Courtesy of NETFLIX

Bogdanovich’s role throughout the film’s production would mirror his own career trajectory. Bogdanovich was just a young film historian who’d directed his first movie, “Targets,” a B-picture for Roger Corman, when Welles asked him to play a bit part as a critic interviewing Huston’s Hannaford character. Bogdanovich was already at work on his second film, though – a little movie which ended up being “The Last Picture Show” and the young historian quickly became Hollywood’s hottest director. So when comedian/impressionist Rich Little, whom Welles had strangely cast as the “younger director” dropped out (after seven weeksof filming), Bogdanovich stepped in – now perfectly suited to play the role of a hotshot director usurping his mentor.

In fact, Welles became somewhat resentful of Bogdanovich’s burgeoning success.  Not only was Bogdanovich’s new character apt at mimicking celebrities (something Bogdanovich still loves to do), Welles also added the character of Hannaford’s teenage girlfriend – a blonde, underage actress played by a local waitress with no acting experience – as a not-so-subtle jab at Bogdanovich’s then real-life leading lady/girlfriend, Cybil Shepard. That “betrayal of friendship” explored in the film ended up having real life echoes as the two longtime friends and mutual admirers became somewhat more distant in the years that followed.

DADDY ISSUES

Guilt and betrayal were common themes in all of Welles’s films, and “Wind” is no exception. But never had Welles so directly touched upon how these feelings related to his own childhood, specifically his parents, both of whom he lost at an early age. And while losing his mother when he was just nine was certainly traumatizing, it was his father’s death that perhaps affected him most.

OW.JH.PB.script_conference.2_bw.jpg

Welles had often adapted the works of others for the screen, including Shakespeare and Kafka – never before had he drawn from his own life in this way.

Courtesy of NETFLIX

In “Wind”, Hannaford’s father is said to have committed suicide, which is how Welles described the death of his own alcoholic father, who died of kidney failure when Welles was 15. Welles would later write how he felt responsible for his father’s heavy drinking and, ultimately, his death – a terrible guilt that runs right through “The Other Side of the Wind,” as Hannaford drinks himself toward the film’s fated conclusion that seems to be Welles saying, “like father like son.”

PARTY GUESTS

Welles populates the film’s central party with a grotesquerie of Hollywood hanger-ons, insiders, and filmmakers such as Henry Jaglom, Claude Chabrol, Paul Mazursky, and Dennis Hopper popping up in small cameos as themselves. But once again mixing truth and fiction, Welles also fills the party with characters who are obvious stand-ins for certain friends and adversaries.

Lili Palmer plays Zarah Valeska, an aging starlet who owns the ranch where the party takes place. Welles based Valeska on Marlene Dietrich, whom he tried desperately to get in the film.  Tonio Selwart plays The Baron, a man based loosely on Welles’ old business partner John Houseman, who he’d had a very public falling out with in the 1940s. Susan Strasberg plays Juliette Riche, a film critic modeled very much after Pauline Kael, who had accused Welles of not writing “Citizen Kane” and who Hannaford slaps in a drunken rage at the climax of the film.

These are just a handful of the numerous colorful characters that fill out this jigsaw puzzle of a film. To put all the pieces together, “The Other Side of the Wind” is now streaming on Netflix and, decide for yourself how much of the maker is in his final masterpiece.

Dragon tattoos, fantastic beasts, and more make this November a jam-packed month for movies

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up?…

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up? That’s where The A.V. Club comes in. The first week of every

Read more...

Composer Michel Legrand Sent Himself Back to ’70s to Work With Orson Welles on ‘Wind’

If a director and composer have success on their first film together, they typically work together again. But it is unprecedented for a composer to score that second project 40 years after the film is shot… and 30-plus years after the director’s death….

If a director and composer have success on their first film together, they typically work together again. But it is unprecedented for a composer to score that second project 40 years after the film is shot… and 30-plus years after the director’s death. That’s what happened with French composer Michel Legrand, who — 44 years after […]

Why ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ Is a New Way to See Orson Welles

The long-incomplete “lost film” is a different style for Welles, but it’s also full of nods that consciously echoed the lauded auteur’s own life and career, and a changing Hollywood.

The following essay was produced as part of the 2018 NYFF Critics Academy, a workshop for aspiring film critics that took place during the 56th edition of the New York Film Festival.

Orson Welles’ long-incomplete film “The Other Side of the Wind” has been a topic of fascination and intrigue for decades, billed as Welles’ final feature, and one that, like other projects before it (including “Moby Dick” and “Don Quixote”), had consistently been deemed unfinished. But after years of work from trusted collaborators following Welles’ death in 1985, “The Other Side of the Wind” is now complete, soon to be distributed on the streaming service platform Netflix, and has already made the festival rounds from Venice to Telluride to the recent New York Film Festival.

Beyond Welles acolytes, the film is also of interest because of its interwoven content and form, and a conceit that sees various cameramen following an older, famous film director, giving the film an amusing documentary-like appearance. On the surface, it’s certainly a different style for Welles, whose elaborate compositions and innovations in cinematography in his more well-known works feel in complete opposition to what “Wind” builds. Yet the film is full of stylization and inventiveness that consciously echoed the time period in which it was made, especially as it applied to Welles’ own life and career.

Welles returned to Hollywood after industry exile following his studio-compromised “Touch of Evil,”  and first began shooting “Wind” in 1970, filming sporadically through 1976. Entering the 1970s, the Hollywood studio system was in financial disarray as the counterculture and European New Wave’s influences crept into mainstream American films.

Welles may have rebuffed autobiographical readings in his work, but the autofiction in “The Other Side of the Wind” is undeniable. In the film, filmmaker J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (John Huston) returns to Hollywood after his own self-imposed European exile, where he struggles to complete and get financing for his latest film. The Hollywood that Hannaford returns to has granted his pupil, Brooks Otterlake (Peter Bogdanovich), incredible success, while Hannaford’s career is a topic of fascination, but only in the past tense. He’s simply billed as a “living legend.”

The film centers around Hannaford’s birthday party, where reels of his own uncompleted film are watched as Hannaford himself is being filmed, constantly peppered with questions about the state of his own life and career. Film critic Juliette Riche (Susan Strasberg) declares Hannaford’s current mode as self-sabotage, telling a crowd, “What he [Hannaford] creates, he has to wreck. It’s a compulsion!” Welles clearly heard and read many similarly unfavorable criticisms of himself and his work, and yet his Hannaford is the one who invites the cameras into his world.

By the time he started work on “Wind,” Welles himself had been the subject of documentaries, including the Maysles Brothers short “Orson Welles in Spain,” which followed Welles in trying to lure investors into what would be the unproduced film “The Sacred Beast.” It is notable that among Welles’ last completed feature films were documentaries, the essay films “F for Fake” and “Filming Othello,” that were themselves studies of the medium’s potential.

Smartly enough, “The Other Side of the Wind” uses “found footage” that Welles imitated with incredible precision. Before his death, Welles himself assembled forty minutes of the near-two-hour runtime. That assembly cut included much of the documentary-like surveillance of Hannaford (along with the film within the film, an uncanny “Zabriskie Point” spoof).

“The Other Side of the Wind” was a logical step by Welles, and one that so happened to align with the time period’s more popular Direct Cinema and cinema verite styles in documentary filmmaking. In his own life, Welles was seeing filmmaking in fiction and non-fiction change, and he became a different kind of filmmaker by recreating these styles.

Still, the feature is unmistakably an Orson Welles film. Predating his work in the cinema, Welles was a man of the theater. Amid the film’s verite images, Welles stages Otterlake and Hannaford at the center of a dialogue, with cameras and onlookers on the periphery seeing these larger than life men, boasting of their exploits as everyone hangs on their every word. They are watching, but so is the audience.

“The Other Side of the Wind” will debut on Netflix and in select theaters on November 2.

Peter Bogdanovich Says It Only Took ‘One Good Idea’ to Make His Buster Keaton Doc ‘The Great Buster’

Almost half a century after he made a documentary about director John Ford, Peter Bodganovich is back with his second look at a classic filmmaker. “The Great Buster: A Celebration,” in which the director of “The Last Picture Show” and “What’s Up, Doc?” follows the life and career of pioneering silent comic and peerless stuntman Buster Keaton, opens on Friday at the Nuart in Los Angeles.

Featuring abundant Keaton footage, from the classic boulder chase in “Seven Chances” to television commercials he made near the end of his life, “The Great Buster” also finds Bogdanovich talking about Keaton with a potpourri of fans that includes Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, Werner Herzog and Johnny Knoxville.

The film is structured chronologically, with one big exception: When it gets to 1923, when Keaton began a string of 10 landmark features that included “The General” and “Steamboat Bill, Jr.,” it jumps forward six years and saves the best stuff for last.

Bogdanovich, who was also instrumental in Netflix’s recent completion of the early ’70s Orson Welles movie “The Other Side of Midnight,” spoke to TheWrap about Keaton, old movies and why he’s not worried about the demise of the video store.

You haven’t done a documentary on a filmmaker since “Directed by John Ford” in 1971, have you?
I did John Ford, that’s right. And then I didn’t do a documentary until Tom Petty [“Runnin’ Down a Dream” in 2007]. Won a Grammy for that. I’m very proud of it.

Also Read: ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ Film Review: Orson Welles’ Final Film Is Worth the Wait

So why do one on Buster Keaton?
Charles Cohen financed it. He owns the rights to the ’20s pictures, which is all the good stuff, and he asked me if I would be interested in doing a documentary on Keaton. I said yeah, and it was as simple as that. I loved Keaton. He was one of the two people that were alive in my lifetime that I didn’t meet, that I wanted to: Buster Keaton and Noel Coward.

Did you pass up chances to meet them?
With Keaton, I was just trying to find out where he was, and he died. We lived not that far away from each other in the Valley, and I was trying to find him. That was a near miss.

I definitely had a chance to meet Noel Coward, and it was sort of stupid of me. I was in Vevey in Switzerland, shooting “Daisy Miller,” and he was just up the mountain there. I thought, “Well, he’s not going to want to meet some young American director, why should I bother him?”

But he died about a year later, and about a year after that I met his executor, Graham Payn, because Audrey Hepburn and I were talking about doing “Private Lives” on Broadway. And Graham said, “You know, one of the last films that Noel saw was ‘Paper Moon,’ and he loved it.”

And I thought, “S—.” I would like to have heard him say that.

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Do you remember your first exposure to Keaton?
I’ve been a fan of Keaton’s since I was about 5 years old. My father, who was quite a bit older than my mother, grew up with silent pictures. Sound didn’t come in until my father was 30. So he took me to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to see a lot of silent films. The first movies I saw, really, were silent pictures: Keaton, Chaplin, Griffith, Harold Lloyd, those people.

I loved Keaton. In fact, when I made the chase sequence in “What’s Up, Doc,” I said, “This is a Buster Keaton chase.” There were only a couple of jokes we stole from Keaton, I think, but the idea was sort of Keaton-esque.

I assume you started the film with a pretty good idea of the story that you’re going to tell. Did it change much in the making?
Well, I don’t know where I got this idea, but it was the one good idea that I had, which was to end with the features. And the reason I did that was the old showbiz axiom, “Leave ‘em laughing.” With Buster Keaton, I didn’t want to leave them sad. And his life was kind of sad toward the end, although he was happily married, which I think saved his life. But he smoked a lot, didn’t take care of himself.

Luckily, the Venice Film Festival had celebrated him a year before he died, so I could use that in the plot to bring the features back.

Also Read: All the ‘Halloween’ Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best (Photos)

It’s tricky, though, when you’re going through the chronology and then you get to the great features and say, “We’ll come back to these later.”
Yeah.

You have to trust that the audience will say, “OK, you can skip the good stuff.”
Well, you know, I did it with complete authority. [Laughs] And I thought they would have to just accept it. And also, I think the fact that I was doing the narration and I made the picture sort of worked. I would usually hire somebody to do the narration, but I felt it was so personal that I could make it more personal by narrating it.

We’ve all seen the classic Keaton sequences, and you can never watch that boulder chase from “Seven Chances” enough. But were you conscious of trying to create a mixture of stuff that Keaton fans would have seen with stuff they wouldn’t have seen?
I didn’t think about it much. I just sort of followed my instincts, my gut reactions.

Also Read: ‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

But you also have things that aren’t familiar, like the TV commercials he did late in his life. Was there footage you found that surprised you?
Not surprised me. I knew of the commercials but I hadn’t seen them, and those were fun. I thought it was funny and sad that he had to do that. I was sad that he didn’t have a comeback. But that’s America.

So making this film sounds like a pretty smooth process.
It didn’t present any difficulties. The biggest challenge was the thought of putting all the features at the end. How do you get on, how do you get off? That’s show business.

We’re in an era now where if you want to see an old Buster Keaton movie, you can probably do it with a few clicks. With the rise of Netflix and Amazon and all, more old movies are available immediately than ever before. But if you can’t find it online, the video stores that would actually have stuff like that are…
Gone. Gone with the wind.

Is that troubling to you?
No, because all of it is available on DVD. I mean, most of the films you want to see, you can get them on DVD. All of Keaton is available. Everything, including the stuff that isn’t good. Older films are more available now than they’ve ever been, I think. I don’t know if there’s interest in them, but they’re around.

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Almost half a century after he made a documentary about director John Ford, Peter Bodganovich is back with his second look at a classic filmmaker. “The Great Buster: A Celebration,” in which the director of “The Last Picture Show” and “What’s Up, Doc?” follows the life and career of pioneering silent comic and peerless stuntman Buster Keaton, opens on Friday at the Nuart in Los Angeles.

Featuring abundant Keaton footage, from the classic boulder chase in “Seven Chances” to television commercials he made near the end of his life, “The Great Buster” also finds Bogdanovich talking about Keaton with a potpourri of fans that includes Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, Werner Herzog and Johnny Knoxville.

The film is structured chronologically, with one big exception: When it gets to 1923, when Keaton began a string of 10 landmark features that included “The General” and “Steamboat Bill, Jr.,” it jumps forward six years and saves the best stuff for last.

Bogdanovich, who was also instrumental in Netflix’s recent completion of the early ’70s Orson Welles movie “The Other Side of Midnight,” spoke to TheWrap about Keaton, old movies and why he’s not worried about the demise of the video store.

You haven’t done a documentary on a filmmaker since “Directed by John Ford” in 1971, have you?
I did John Ford, that’s right. And then I didn’t do a documentary until Tom Petty [“Runnin’ Down a Dream” in 2007]. Won a Grammy for that. I’m very proud of it.

So why do one on Buster Keaton?
Charles Cohen financed it. He owns the rights to the ’20s pictures, which is all the good stuff, and he asked me if I would be interested in doing a documentary on Keaton. I said yeah, and it was as simple as that. I loved Keaton. He was one of the two people that were alive in my lifetime that I didn’t meet, that I wanted to: Buster Keaton and Noel Coward.

Did you pass up chances to meet them?
With Keaton, I was just trying to find out where he was, and he died. We lived not that far away from each other in the Valley, and I was trying to find him. That was a near miss.

I definitely had a chance to meet Noel Coward, and it was sort of stupid of me. I was in Vevey in Switzerland, shooting “Daisy Miller,” and he was just up the mountain there. I thought, “Well, he’s not going to want to meet some young American director, why should I bother him?”

But he died about a year later, and about a year after that I met his executor, Graham Payn, because Audrey Hepburn and I were talking about doing “Private Lives” on Broadway. And Graham said, “You know, one of the last films that Noel saw was ‘Paper Moon,’ and he loved it.”

And I thought, “S—.” I would like to have heard him say that.

Do you remember your first exposure to Keaton?
I’ve been a fan of Keaton’s since I was about 5 years old. My father, who was quite a bit older than my mother, grew up with silent pictures. Sound didn’t come in until my father was 30. So he took me to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to see a lot of silent films. The first movies I saw, really, were silent pictures: Keaton, Chaplin, Griffith, Harold Lloyd, those people.

I loved Keaton. In fact, when I made the chase sequence in “What’s Up, Doc,” I said, “This is a Buster Keaton chase.” There were only a couple of jokes we stole from Keaton, I think, but the idea was sort of Keaton-esque.

I assume you started the film with a pretty good idea of the story that you’re going to tell. Did it change much in the making?
Well, I don’t know where I got this idea, but it was the one good idea that I had, which was to end with the features. And the reason I did that was the old showbiz axiom, “Leave ‘em laughing.” With Buster Keaton, I didn’t want to leave them sad. And his life was kind of sad toward the end, although he was happily married, which I think saved his life. But he smoked a lot, didn’t take care of himself.

Luckily, the Venice Film Festival had celebrated him a year before he died, so I could use that in the plot to bring the features back.

It’s tricky, though, when you’re going through the chronology and then you get to the great features and say, “We’ll come back to these later.”
Yeah.

You have to trust that the audience will say, “OK, you can skip the good stuff.”
Well, you know, I did it with complete authority. [Laughs] And I thought they would have to just accept it. And also, I think the fact that I was doing the narration and I made the picture sort of worked. I would usually hire somebody to do the narration, but I felt it was so personal that I could make it more personal by narrating it.

We’ve all seen the classic Keaton sequences, and you can never watch that boulder chase from “Seven Chances” enough. But were you conscious of trying to create a mixture of stuff that Keaton fans would have seen with stuff they wouldn’t have seen?
I didn’t think about it much. I just sort of followed my instincts, my gut reactions.

But you also have things that aren’t familiar, like the TV commercials he did late in his life. Was there footage you found that surprised you?
Not surprised me. I knew of the commercials but I hadn’t seen them, and those were fun. I thought it was funny and sad that he had to do that. I was sad that he didn’t have a comeback. But that’s America.

So making this film sounds like a pretty smooth process.
It didn’t present any difficulties. The biggest challenge was the thought of putting all the features at the end. How do you get on, how do you get off? That’s show business.

We’re in an era now where if you want to see an old Buster Keaton movie, you can probably do it with a few clicks. With the rise of Netflix and Amazon and all, more old movies are available immediately than ever before. But if you can’t find it online, the video stores that would actually have stuff like that are…
Gone. Gone with the wind.

Is that troubling to you?
No, because all of it is available on DVD. I mean, most of the films you want to see, you can get them on DVD. All of Keaton is available. Everything, including the stuff that isn’t good. Older films are more available now than they’ve ever been, I think. I don’t know if there’s interest in them, but they’re around.

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‘The Other Side of the Wind’: How to Salvage an Unfinished Orson Welles Movie Without Orson Welles

Behind the scenes of the unprecedented restoration: How digital technology was used to solve an analog nightmare, Danny Huston ADR’ing his father’s dialogue, ILM effects shots, cracking Welles’ unique editing vision, and more.

The story of Orson Welles’ unfinished and final film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” which will screen at the New York Film Festival September 29, is the stuff of legend. Produced over six years from cobbled-together funds, the chain of title was a legal nightmare: French courts held the film’s negative captive, while Welles’ partially edited workprints had been held in Croatia since his death in 1985.

Producers Filip Jan Rymsza and Frank Marshall (who cut his teeth on the rag-tag film 44 years ago) brought together the various rights holders, including the Welles family; Netflix acquired the negative and united the available elements. Then, they faced a potentially even bigger problem: How do you salvage an incomplete, long-neglected and complicated Orson Welles film without Welles himself?

To capture this story of technical and filmmaking challenges, IndieWire interviewed the filmmakers behind the monumental effort, and screened the 40-minute “A Final Cut For Orson,” a featurette (set to be released November 2nd on Netflix, along with the film itself) that focused on the technical challenges of the task — not to be confused with Morgan Neville’s far more polished, 90-minute Netflix documentary, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” which also screens this weekend.

The Scavenger Hunt: What Do We Have?

"The Other Side of the Wind" 100 hours of footage

“The Other Side of the Wind” 100 hours of footage

Screen Shot

Despite their decades of effort to save the film, the truth is Rymsza, Marshall, and Peter Bogdanovich — Welles’ longtime friend who co-stars in “The Other Side of the Wind” — didn’t know what had been shot and what had been preserved.

“We didn’t have any script notes, so we didn’t know whether Orson had shot the whole script,” said Marshall. “We didn’t know what we were getting until we just started opening film can after film can and logging it in. It was very tedious.”

Once the vaults opened, the enormous amount of footage Welles had shot was beyond anything the men anticipated.

“There was the huge amount of footage to deal with,” said editor Bob Murawski (“The Hurt Locker,” “Spider-man,” “Army of Darkness”). “This one had about 100 hours, which is a 50:1 ratio for a two-hour movie.” That’s seven times the standard ratio, which is about 7:1.

However, they were thrilled to see that the negative itself, shot in a different formats (including 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film), was well maintained. In fact, over 95 percent of the finished film came from shots newly scanned from the original negative, rather than having to rely on work prints.

“Paradoxically, because no one could access the negative, it was never touched and the cans were never opened,” said Rymsza. “So it was beautifully preserved and in great shape.”

However, in a cost-cutting move, Welles had cut the negative to print the shots he liked and knew he would use. In an effort to reconstitute the camera-original source, they turned to Mo Henry, a third-generation negative cutter who started her career on “Jaws,” and has worked with everyone from Francis Ford Coppola to the Coen Brothers to Christopher Nolan. She took on the monumental task of trying to reassemble the negative and prepare it for digitally scanning.

Searching for Clues: Welles’ Disjointed Work Prints

The Other Side Of The Wind

The Other Side Of The Wind

José María Castellví/Netflix

While Welles was never able to regain control of his film’s negative, he was able to smuggle his work print to Los Angeles, where he periodically edited it on a Moviola for 15 years. When the restoration team finally took possession of the 85 boxes of work print, they knew this would be the starting point to determine Welles’ intention and vision for the film. Only once they assembled and screened these scenes — conformed, as best as possible, to Welles’ vision — would they know how far Welles got in his editing.

In the featurette, we see Rymsza, Marshall, Bogdanovich, and Murawski screen the assembly — and the cameras capture their dismay. Rymsza declared Welles had left them with “a disjointed mess” and Murawski wondered, “Is there a movie here?” Part of the problem was there were no camera reports to help capture how the project evolved as Welles did reshoots and rewrites over six years.

“Initially, we worked from purely script order and a lot of it didn’t make sense because of how layered the pickups [scenes] were and what Orson had called ‘The LA Pages’,'” said Marshall, referring to scenes that Welles wrote by hand but never put in the script. “We weren’t quite sure where those things fit because they were just looseleaf pages. Then we had to figure out how they fit in the overall [film].”

Eventually, the film revealed itself just by watching and rewatching footage. Connections between scenes, which were stored in separate boxes with different labels, were found as the foreground action of one matched the background of the other. “The moment [one thing] fell into place, it would unlock another scene,” said Rymsza. “It was a lot of Bob moving scenes around, moving a small piece, and then all of the sudden the puzzle revealed itself to us.”

Forensics: Finding Welles’ Unique Editing Pattern

The color 35mm movie within the movie in "The Other Side of the Wind"

The color 35mm movie within the movie

Screen Shot

Welles’ film was always structured like a film-within-a-film-with-in-a-film. The story is about an aging film director Jake Hannaford (John Huston) attempting to make a comeback with his new film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” which was shot in color 35mm and styled to be a dig at the films of Michelangelo Antonioni and the European art films that were all the rage in 1970. Hannaford screens footage from his comeback film at his big 70th birthday party, which is filmed by a number of filmmakers using different types of cameras. Welles wanted the audience to experience the birthday party as if it was constructed from the different sources — color, black-and-white, 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm.

“The editing was so unique, no one had edited in this style before Orson,” said Rymsza. “It’s forensics and you try to figure out why did he leave things the way that he left them.”

Luckily, some of the scenes Welles was able to bring to a fine cut were of the birthday party, which Murawski used as a model. After a while, the editor was able to plug into Welles’ unique editing style and the Russ Meyer-like “punishing rhythm” he was trying to create.

“[Welles] was really trying to create movement through rapid editing,” said Murawski. “He was at a point in his career where he no longer had access to sophisticated equipment like cranes and dollies as he did when he was working on big studio movies. Nor was he working with experienced, professional film crews who would be able to execute the kind of complicated, sophisticated, virtuosic shots he was famous for. Think of the opening shot from ‘Touch of Evil.’ Completely impossible under these circumstances. So he devised a new technique for creating that hyperkinetic sense of movement.”

Digital Technology Solves an Analog Mess

The cameras documenting the birthday party in "The Other Side of the Wind"

The cameras documenting the birthday party in “The Other Side of the Wind”

Screen Shot

Murawski believes the very nature of how the party was shot made it incredibly difficult for Welles to finish editing “The Other Side of the Wind” on film. The biggest problem was the mixture of film formats.

“This would not be that much of a problem today, since everything would simply get transferred and then edited on a digital system like the Avid,” said Murawski. “But when this movie was shot, that technology didn’t exist, so all the smaller formats first needed to be optically ‘blown up’ to 35mm before Orson could edit them. Something that created an entire layer of cost and complexity. To me, it’s not surprising that he was unable to complete the editing of the movie. It was too logistically difficult.”

Marshall agrees, seeing an irony in that the film almost needed to wait for technology to catch up to Welles’ demands. No place was this more evident than when the team had to match their three-hour rough cut back to the 100 hours of original, but not fully intact, camera negative. To accomplish this task they went to Video Gorillas, a company that brings the same artificial intelligence used in driverless vehicles to visual imagery.

For “The Other Side of the Wind,” the company scanned the 280,000 frames of the Avid-edited movie and found the exact matching in the eight million frames of camera negative. The Video Gorillas algorithm took two-and-a-half days to go through 2 trillion frame comparisons to complete the task.  

Visual Effects: Creating the Shots Welles Couldn’t Afford

John Huston Shoots at the dummies in The cameras documenting the birthday party in "The Other Side of the Wind"

John Huston shoots at the cameras documenting the birthday party in “The Other Side of the Wind”

Screen Shot

There were also shots Welles never got a chance to shoot. Specifically, there is a scene where Huston’s character fires a gun at mannequins that explode upon impact. The original production lacked the expertise or money to create these shots.

“Once again, technology is at a point today where we could get these shots and it was seamless,” said Marshall.

Marshall recruited John Knoll, chief creative officer and VFX supervisor at ILM, to use his shop to first rebuild the dummies, then shoot them being blown up against a green screen in a way that would seamlessly match Welles’ footage.

The Vital Opening Narration Welles Never Recorded

Peter Bogdanovich, John Huston in Orson Wells' "The Other Side Of The Wind"

Peter Bogdanovich and John Huston in “The Other Side Of The Wind”

Courtesy of NETFLIX

One of the biggest challenges was how to start the movie. The first line of the script is “OW’s Voice Over,” which meant Welles intended to do the opening narration himself, but he never recorded it. There is no voice like Welles’, who first became famous doing radio plays, and wrote and performed some of the most incomparable narration in film history. Complicating the problem was the information contained in the opening narration was vital to the story. There was no skipping it.

Bogdanovich came up with the idea of slightly rewriting Welles’ narration so that he could perform it as his character — a young, hotshot film director, not unlike Bogdanovich at the time of filming — but years later, now older looking back at the events of the film, not unlike Bogdanovich today.

“Peter’s solution made the film current. It was him now the older filmmaker, reflecting on [what happened],” said Rymsza. “That was such great idea on his part, because suddenly it brought the movie to 2018 and made it more relevant.”

Lost Audio and Voice Alikes

Danny and John Huston

Danny and John Huston

Nils Jorgensen/Shutterstock Screen Shot

While the negative was in good shape, much of the quarter-inch production audio from 1974 – which included the dialogue-heavy party sequence – was never found, leaving the restoration team with beat-up third- and fourth-generation audio from Welles’ work print. This created a number of problems, beyond horrible sound quality.

The production audio included Welles’ animated and active direction of his actors, which often revealed to Murawski what he was going after in the scene and how it should play. However, while the image of these entire shots could be found in the negative, the audio was limited to what Welles cut into the work print.

“The minute we realized we weren’t going to find the quarter-inch, we hired two film editors to reconstitute the sound,” said Rymsza. “We wouldn’t have the heads or tails, [which meant] we’d be missing two or three lines, so we’d go through alternate takes and we would be fishing for a word here or a word there just to make sure we could reconstruct the original performance.”

It took the two additional editors two months, but what they found allowed, in many cases, for a performance to be extended. It also supplied vital audio pieces for supervising sound editor Daniel Saxlid to fix the sound; according to those who screened the early assemblies, it was impossible to understand 80 percent of what was being said.

Saxlid used post-production software to seamlessly blend different performances and takes, sometimes only using a single word or phrase from an alternate performance, while digging into the sound itself to make it clearer and smoother. When Saxlid couldn’t solve a problem, ADR supervisor Anna Mackenzie had to bring in pitch-perfect voice actors, known as “voicealikes,” to mimic the late actors.

At the center of the party scenes was Huston, who — as fans of “Chinatown” know from his Noah Cross character — has a distinct, cigar-chewing drawl. One of the most enduring parts of the behind-the-scenes featurette is watching Huston’s son, actor Danny Huston, do an incredible job mimicking his father in the ADR sessions.

“It was strange to see my father projected on the screen, then say the words, and then see my father speak them back to me,” said Huston in the documentary. “All I have to do is think of my father and find the ‘Ah-ha’s’ and ‘action,’ ‘cut.’ … it was quite magical connecting with his voice and it just brought him back to life.”

Michel Legrand’s Score

In Welles’ notes and script, he indicated that New Orleans-style jazz would be playing at the party. “When we were at a very rough assembly, the idea was we wouldn’t be doing a score at all, that we would be using source,” said Rymsza. “That the party would be various rooms, and in each room there would be a different band, like with ‘Touch of Evil’ at the beginning where as you went from room to room there would be shifts, so it would be all digenic.”

The restoration team soon realized the film would benefit from a score to pull the various elements to together and play as a unified whole. Ironically, the temp tracks were all by legendary composer Michel Legrand; in addition working on classic film scores for Jacques Demy, Agnes Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Clint Eastwood and Robert Altman, he collaborated with Welles on “F Is For Fake.” That made him the logical first and only call to do the score.

Legrand created a virtually wall-to-wall score that perfectly captures the film-within-a-film playfulness and is in perfect sync with the avant- garde element of the Welles’ vision. Also, being a master of combining modern jazz and film composition, he created a perfect bridge between score and the on-screen music for the party scenes.

“One of the highlights for me was all of us sitting there with Michel and spotting the score,” said Marshall. “Watching him work with that little twinkle in his eye and being so excited about seeing Orson’s movie and what he was imagining what Orson would have wanted.”

“Other Side of the Wind” will hit theaters and Netflix on November 2nd. 

Telluride Film Review: ‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’

It is perhaps the most famous movie never made. Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” was intended to be his magnum opus, an ambitious meta-movie about a filmmaker’s last night on Earth, intercut with footage of his final project — a parody …

It is perhaps the most famous movie never made. Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” was intended to be his magnum opus, an ambitious meta-movie about a filmmaker’s last night on Earth, intercut with footage of his final project — a parody of an over-stylized 1970s atmospheric art film in the vein of […]

‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Review: Orson Welles Documentary Is an Amusing Prequel to ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

Morgan Neville’s lively look at Welles’ grand unfinished production helps put its long-awaited completion in context.

Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” has been in post-production limbo for decades, and with time it became the golden unicorn of his filmography, a final potential masterpiece that remained uncompleted at the time of the rapscallion’s death. While Netflix stepped up to finish the project decades later, Welles’ experimental, semi-autographical drama about a washed-up filmmaker requires a fair amount of context for anyone except diehard Welles fans, especially if it’s expected to appeal to viewers on an international platform.

Enter “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” documentarian Morgan Neville’s endearing, playful overview of the false starts and sudden roadblocks that marred the production as Welles’ rocky career sped toward its conclusion. In effect, Neville has given the movie the prequel it deserves.

One one level, “The Other Side of the Wind” served as Welles’ cinematic autobiography. While he’d engaged with some aspects of his personal history in the brilliant 1973 essay film “F For Fake,” his final project incorporated more explicit details about his current conundrum, and Neville’s bountiful cast of talking heads break down the details.

By the end of the ’60s, the rush of New Hollywood counterculture held up Welles as its hero, the grandaddy of filmmakers willing to buck the system. “The Last Picture Show”  director Peter Bogdonavich obsessed over Welles, first as a journalist and then as a breakout talent, and Welles cast him in “The Other Side of the Wind” as a fictionalized version of exactly that. For his own role in this story, the director cast a similarly wizened John Huston, playing a washed-up director attempting to make one last masterpiece in the twilight of his career. That movie, a highbrow project called “The Other Side of the Wind,” unfolds as a film-within-a-film starring Bob Random, which allowed Welles to deliver a cheeky indictment of ‘60s European art films while advancing his own creative obsessions in the process.

It’s a classic Wellesian conceit, at once prankish, innovative and personal, but so much of Welles’ history has been relegated to scholarly texts that it’s a thrill to see this final chapter laid out with such clarity and charm. Neville excels at merging archival footage and talking heads into a zippy format whether he’s dealing with Mr. Rogers (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”) or backup singers (“Twenty Feet From Stardom”), and that skill is especially visible here. The movie’s a bit too dense with clips and random cutaways, but the decision to film the interviews in black-and-white while filling much of the running time with ample “Other Side of the Wind” footage means that the messy project can take center stage while the surviving collaborators receive their own context as custodians of history.

The movie has some hokey devices that reek of attempts to win over new viewers, chief among them a recurring use of Alan Cumming as an on-camera host. Neville tries to stuff in virtually every little trivial detail about the project and Welles’ life as a whole, to the point where the movie has a tendency to play like a special feature to contextualize the restoration and not a movie in its own right.

Nevertheless, as special features go, it’s a cut above. “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” tracks the production from the late ’60s all the way through Welles’ death in 1985. The saga really soars when unearthing the sheer anarchy of Welles’ set, described by one survivor as “a circus of scattered souls.” Bogdonavich, whose own career collapsed around the time of Welles’ death, emerges as a wistful figure in a sea of contempt for Welles’ anarchic style. He’s complemented by the remarkable history of Gary Graver, the softcore porn cameraman who was saw “The Other Side of the Wind” as his ticket to a highbrow status, so much that he carried a canister of film from the project around for years after Welles’ death.

There’s enough footage from the unfinished production to make the case for Welles’ innovative spirit lingering in every moment of his movie, including a shocking sex sequence featuring his partner Oja Kodar and a lengthy party scene with cameos from some of the greatest filmmakers alive at the time. Netflix viewers who start with “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” are likely to give the Welles restoration a shot, especially once they realize just how much Welles endured while attempting to lock picture. Neville’s documentary scans it all: the abrupt departure of producer Andrzej Gomez, who financed the bulk of the project; a lawsuit with Iranian investors hobbled by that country’s sudden revolution; a last-ditch attempt to beg for money that forced the director to turn a lifetime achievement award speech into a fundraising gig.

It’s a sad, ludicrous, and ultimately touching story, one that inevitably requires an assessment of Welles as a whole. The movie skims through his troubled childhood and the curse of making “Citizen Kane” at the age of 25, setting expectations impossibly high for the rest of his life as he was increasingly exiled from Hollywood. One peer describes “Wind” as “the bookend to ‘Kane,’” the final puzzle piece in a life of fragmented visions that also included unreleased curiosities like “It’s All True” and “The Dreamers.”

But now, at least, the bookend is complete. We’ll never be able to fully process Welles’ artistry with every nuance intact, but “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” is a testament to the rewarding process of looking for the big picture in the master’s career. Some of Neville’s subjects argue against the theory that Welles never actually wanted to finish his projects. Whether or not that’s true, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” proves his success at turning the act of creation into a victory itself.

Grade: B+

“They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival. It will be available on Netflix on November 2.

‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Film Review: Morgan Neville’s Orson Welles Doc Is Cineaste Catnip

With his Vidal-Buckley documentary “Best of Enemies” and this year’s smash hit about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” filmmaker Morgan Neville has proven himself a keenly sensitive, artful showman when surveying a career through archival footage and fresh interviews. He knows how to re-light the flame of a life, and that’s quickly apparent in his deeply entertaining and illuminating Orson Welles documentary “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.”

With impish respect, it chronicles the tortuous journey of Welles’ most notoriously unfinished-in-his-lifetime last movie, “The Other Side of the Wind.”

For cinephiles, it’s a high-calorie, clip-and-interview-laden feast of biography, insight, and gossip. Add to that the bonus that — unlike the dashed promise felt after absorbing “Jorodorwsky’s Dune” that the cinema gods were robbed — in this case there’s a finally completed “Wind,” assembled in recent years, also going out through Netflix. to go with Neville’s exhaustive behind-the-scenes appreciation. (Having watched “They’ll Love Me” prior to “Wind,” it’s safe to say they can be enjoyed in either order, since repeat viewings are likely for movie lovers, anyway.)

Watch Video: Watch the Trailer for Orson Welles’ Lost Film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

Using an elegantly shot (in black-and-white) Alan Cumming at a reel-stacked edit bay as a Wellesian narrating device, Neville wastes no time setting the scene: how by the late 1960s, strapped for funding, still living in the shadow of “Citizen Kane,” and ready to be embraced by the younger, edgier Hollywood after years in European exile, Welles in 1970 launched headlong into filming an idea that had been percolating for years, even though he had no complete script, no full cast, and no outside funding.

The autobiographical (though Welles rarely admitted it) concept involved a mythic, exiled filmmaker’s 70th birthday, around which the faithful and sycophantic would gather, while the fate of the director’s attempted comeback project lay in the balance. Naturally, this also described the shooting of “The Other Side of the Wind” as it carried on piecemeal for six years with a cast that included John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, and Welles’s lover-collaborator Oja Kodar.

Watch Video: ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Director Says Mister Rogers Is ‘Empty From Our Culture’

Using a skeleton crew led by a young new cinematographer named Gary Graver, who cold-called Welles himself and whose own story as a dedicated worker bee shadows the film’s, Welles directed lush, vibrant scenes aping European art movies with Kodar (the film-within-the-film sequences). Alternatively, at a house in Arizona, one address over from the spread Antonioni blew up in “Zabriskie Point,” he shot the party sequences in a jagged documentary style.

Real-life details undergirded Welles’s narrative, in intensely psychological ways, never more so than that the director, through Huston’s character, played out onscreen his power-shifting relationship with acolyte and friend Bogdanovich, who wasn’t spared Welles’ ridicule. (Originally casting impersonator Rich Little in the role — an imitator as an imitator — was one such jab.)

Also Read: Netflix CEO Disses Cannes Film Fest After Streamer Pulls Out: There Are ‘a Lot of Other Festivals’

Bogdanovich always helped his pal, though – his remembrances especially are tinged with the melancholy of loving a complex person. But at the point when money woes strained, Welles once more found himself the ever-loved cinema master — perpetual talk show guest, AFI honoree — but never to the tune of cash needed to realize a vision.

As Neville breezily relates an odyssey of chaos, inspiration, and impasses, he also makes expertly amusing, thematically-edited use of all manner of Welles footage (from movies, outtakes, television shows) so that the man himself becomes a chorus in his own story. The interviewee list of witnesses and collaborators is numerous, from the well-known to the unseen, their recollections and analyses sometimes differing, but nearly always intuitive.

The prime takeaway is of an irascibly charming, wounded and forceful genius both having the time of his life and sensing the gathering dusk. As the story eases into Welles’ final year, the most tantalizing question posed is whether he even wanted to finish catch-as-catch-can projects like “Wind”; was directing always about the exploration, the quest for “happy accidents,” and rarely the completion?

Eventually, Neville carries off his own winking director’s trick, with the help of Welles himself. Returning to footage used earlier, filmed by the Maysles brothers in Spain in the ’60s, of an energized Welles regaling a captive audience in a hotel lobby with his vision for what sounds like what eventually became “Wind,” the pitch turns enchantingly meta — that the future movie just might have to include them, in that moment, talking about it.

After the rollercoaster journey “They’ll Love Me” details, it’s enough to make one contemplate: Could Neville’s documentary be, in a sense, what Welles wanted “The Other Side of the Wind” to be all along? Someone else’s movie about Orson Welles’s movie about a fictional director’s movie which is inside another movie that’s ultimately about all movies?

Cheekily, Neville reveals he knows you’re thinking this, and it’s the perfect capper for his engaging hat-tip to a legend for whom the movies were always worth imagining, celebrating, and forever trying to get made.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Venice Film Festival 2018: Coen Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron, Julian Schnabel to Unveil New Work

Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’ to Screen as New York Film Festival Centerpiece

Netflix Lands Cannes Award Winners ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ and ‘Girl’

Kathryn Trosper Popper, ‘Citizen Kane’ Actress and Orson Welles’ Assistant, Dies at 100

With his Vidal-Buckley documentary “Best of Enemies” and this year’s smash hit about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” filmmaker Morgan Neville has proven himself a keenly sensitive, artful showman when surveying a career through archival footage and fresh interviews. He knows how to re-light the flame of a life, and that’s quickly apparent in his deeply entertaining and illuminating Orson Welles documentary “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.”

With impish respect, it chronicles the tortuous journey of Welles’ most notoriously unfinished-in-his-lifetime last movie, “The Other Side of the Wind.”

For cinephiles, it’s a high-calorie, clip-and-interview-laden feast of biography, insight, and gossip. Add to that the bonus that — unlike the dashed promise felt after absorbing “Jorodorwsky’s Dune” that the cinema gods were robbed — in this case there’s a finally completed “Wind,” assembled in recent years, also going out through Netflix. to go with Neville’s exhaustive behind-the-scenes appreciation. (Having watched “They’ll Love Me” prior to “Wind,” it’s safe to say they can be enjoyed in either order, since repeat viewings are likely for movie lovers, anyway.)

Using an elegantly shot (in black-and-white) Alan Cumming at a reel-stacked edit bay as a Wellesian narrating device, Neville wastes no time setting the scene: how by the late 1960s, strapped for funding, still living in the shadow of “Citizen Kane,” and ready to be embraced by the younger, edgier Hollywood after years in European exile, Welles in 1970 launched headlong into filming an idea that had been percolating for years, even though he had no complete script, no full cast, and no outside funding.

The autobiographical (though Welles rarely admitted it) concept involved a mythic, exiled filmmaker’s 70th birthday, around which the faithful and sycophantic would gather, while the fate of the director’s attempted comeback project lay in the balance. Naturally, this also described the shooting of “The Other Side of the Wind” as it carried on piecemeal for six years with a cast that included John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, and Welles’s lover-collaborator Oja Kodar.

Using a skeleton crew led by a young new cinematographer named Gary Graver, who cold-called Welles himself and whose own story as a dedicated worker bee shadows the film’s, Welles directed lush, vibrant scenes aping European art movies with Kodar (the film-within-the-film sequences). Alternatively, at a house in Arizona, one address over from the spread Antonioni blew up in “Zabriskie Point,” he shot the party sequences in a jagged documentary style.

Real-life details undergirded Welles’s narrative, in intensely psychological ways, never more so than that the director, through Huston’s character, played out onscreen his power-shifting relationship with acolyte and friend Bogdanovich, who wasn’t spared Welles’ ridicule. (Originally casting impersonator Rich Little in the role — an imitator as an imitator — was one such jab.)

Bogdanovich always helped his pal, though – his remembrances especially are tinged with the melancholy of loving a complex person. But at the point when money woes strained, Welles once more found himself the ever-loved cinema master — perpetual talk show guest, AFI honoree — but never to the tune of cash needed to realize a vision.

As Neville breezily relates an odyssey of chaos, inspiration, and impasses, he also makes expertly amusing, thematically-edited use of all manner of Welles footage (from movies, outtakes, television shows) so that the man himself becomes a chorus in his own story. The interviewee list of witnesses and collaborators is numerous, from the well-known to the unseen, their recollections and analyses sometimes differing, but nearly always intuitive.

The prime takeaway is of an irascibly charming, wounded and forceful genius both having the time of his life and sensing the gathering dusk. As the story eases into Welles’ final year, the most tantalizing question posed is whether he even wanted to finish catch-as-catch-can projects like “Wind”; was directing always about the exploration, the quest for “happy accidents,” and rarely the completion?

Eventually, Neville carries off his own winking director’s trick, with the help of Welles himself. Returning to footage used earlier, filmed by the Maysles brothers in Spain in the ’60s, of an energized Welles regaling a captive audience in a hotel lobby with his vision for what sounds like what eventually became “Wind,” the pitch turns enchantingly meta — that the future movie just might have to include them, in that moment, talking about it.

After the rollercoaster journey “They’ll Love Me” details, it’s enough to make one contemplate: Could Neville’s documentary be, in a sense, what Welles wanted “The Other Side of the Wind” to be all along? Someone else’s movie about Orson Welles’s movie about a fictional director’s movie which is inside another movie that’s ultimately about all movies?

Cheekily, Neville reveals he knows you’re thinking this, and it’s the perfect capper for his engaging hat-tip to a legend for whom the movies were always worth imagining, celebrating, and forever trying to get made.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Venice Film Festival 2018: Coen Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron, Julian Schnabel to Unveil New Work

Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' to Screen as New York Film Festival Centerpiece

Netflix Lands Cannes Award Winners 'Happy as Lazzaro' and 'Girl'

Kathryn Trosper Popper, 'Citizen Kane' Actress and Orson Welles' Assistant, Dies at 100

Could Orson Welles Compete for an Oscar One Last Time?

It’s been nearly 50 years since Orson Welles called up friend and colleague Peter Bogdanovich, just before the young filmmaker flew to Texas to begin production on “The Last Picture Show,” to knock out some of the earliest footage of what would eventua…

It’s been nearly 50 years since Orson Welles called up friend and colleague Peter Bogdanovich, just before the young filmmaker flew to Texas to begin production on “The Last Picture Show,” to knock out some of the earliest footage of what would eventually become Welles’ swan song. Thanks to Netflix and a dedicated crew, “The […]

‘The Other Side of the Wind’ Review: Orson Welles’ Unfinished Final Film Still Feels That Way, But It’s Essential Viewing Anyway

Venice: Welles’ long-lost final film feels like it exists inside its late director’s head.

The Other Side of the Wind” has been such a legendary chapter in Orson Welles mythology that its completion represents some sort of victory for all involved. By the time the filmmaker died of a heart attack in 1985, he’d spend over a decade cobbling together this ambitious New Hollywood vision, the experimental story of a washed-up filmmaker who more or less stood in for Welles himself. At long last, Netflix chipped in the sizable restoration costs to assemble 100 hours of footage shot for “The Other Side of the Wind” into something close to Welles’ intentions. The result is messy and meandering, but always in that distinctive Wellesian way that proves his talent was unparalleled even when it fell apart.

An opening scrawl declares the restoration “an attempt to honor and complete that vision,” but it’s a misnomer for a movie that’s incomplete by definition — and, perhaps, by design. As “The Other Side of the Wind” shifts between two movies as well as multiple film stocks (including color and black-and-white), it often seems as though it exists within Welles’ restless consciousness. Fans of the director’s late-period work (particularly his last completed effort, the rapid-fire diary film “F for Fake”) will find it thrilling to return to those unpredictable, garrulous recesses, no matter the bumpy ride. Welles continues to contemplate storytelling, Hollywood, and his own troubled career by transforming these obsessions into a marathon of creativity. Stitched together by star editor Bob Murawksi, “The Other Side of the Wind” is a fascinating resurrection.

The narrative of sorts revolves around revered auteur J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (a terrific cigar-chomping John Huston) as he throws a bash to screen an audacious, racy art film that itself has remained incomplete, after his leading man (Bob Random) fled the set in the middle of a bizarre sex scene with the project’s seductive leading woman (Welles’ late-in-life partner Oja Kodar, who has owned much of the “Wind” footage for decades, and spends the bulk of the movie in various states of undress). As Hannaford gathers a sprawling crowd of Hollywood characters for an impromptu viewing party, he’s accompanied by wingman Brooks Otterlake (Peter Bogdonavich), a cocky younger filmmaker who supports Hannaford at every turn.

Bogdonavich, a key player in the “Wind” saga who became Welles’ closest friend in the early ’70s, more or less plays a variation of himself at the time — and the pair’s onscreen chemistry, as they trade barbs with each other and various party guests, provide the movie with many of its comical highlights. Their mutual disdain for the commercial industry is incisive and irreverent. At one point, Bogdonavich playfully uses an Oscar from the older director’s past as a microphone, pretending to interview a bemused Hannaford. (When the frumpy man shoots back, “You can kiss my sweet ass,” Otterlake responds, “What’d I do wrong, daddy?”) The pair might have carried a more conventional buddy movie, but that’s not the trajectory here, as “The Other Side of the Wind” hovers between the hectic gathering at Hannaford’s place and prolonged cutaways to his incomplete movie, also called “The Other Side of the Wind.” That project, a parody of Antonioni-esque arthouse clichés, revolves around a silent Kodar roaming through orgies and strange outdoor environments as she entrances her newfound partner.

The imagery is at once astounding and empty, which naturally instigates heated debate once the power shuts down and the guests start talking. Welles’ script is loaded with amusing takedowns of the complex analysis so often applied to his work by highbrow aesthetes. (“Camera image or phallus?” says one, and the response is, “I need a drink.”) It’s remarkable to watch a prickly Huston, Hollywood filmmaking royalty himself, lord over his party with a mixture of self-deprecation and condescension to everyone in his orbit. Chief among them is a nagging film critic (Susan Strasberg, in a terrific, fiery turn) who forces the director to answer questions about the intentions of his work, even as he keeps eluding her. She provides a key voice of reason that injects the movie with a modern tone, confronting the director on the inherent misogyny of his work to the point where all he can do is shrug.

Such fragmentary interactions ground “The Other Side of the Wind” with an incendiary tone that epitomizes the movie’s overarching attitude about Hollywood’s self-destructive cycle, and the disillusionment left in its wake. These scenes succeed far better on their own terms than a distracting opening voiceover by Bogdonavich, seemingly recorded in more recent times, as he describes the entire project as a collection of moments from the fictional film shoot. The movie doesn’t need this fictional context because its appeal lies in discord — the frenzied pace, jarring editing style, and overlapping narratives drive the movie forward as the party descends into chaos. It’s hard to discern between Welles’ intentionality here and what’s been cobbled together from his notes, but Michel Legrand’s absorbing new score and the hectic atmosphere keep the mayhem moving forward at an engaging clip.

The movie’s scattershot approach can be frustratingly vague. Nevertheless, “The Other Side of the Wind” confirms Welles’ avant-garde tendencies, pushing them even further than his meta-narrative approach in “F For Fake.” While that movie sums up the filmmaker’s ethos about the elusive boundary between truth and fiction in cinematic storytelling, “The Other Side of the Wind” shows just how much the process of chasing his ambition wore him down. In one telling moment, Huston grabs a shotgun and begins firing on a sea of small dolls set up throughout his yard; it’s no huge leap to view this scene as a metaphor for Welles’ disdain for his audience.

After decades of rejection from a system that celebrated him early on, he envisioned a movie that brought the full weight of his frustrations to bear. The result is as broken and disorienting as the filmmaker’s career, though its arrival at least provides a welcome coda. In an extraordinary final shot, the camera pulls out from a screening of Hannaford’s movie to show an empty playground, as if the entire world has abandoned the artist for good. At least now, with “The Other Side of the Wind” on Netflix platforms around the world, it arrives at a better fate.

Grade: B

“The Other Side of the Wind” premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival. It premieres on Netflix on November 2. 

Venice Film Review: ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

Now that the mosaic has finally been put together, what does it look like? “The Other Side of the Wind” tells the story of a legendary Hollywood director, Jake Hannaford (John Huston), who is struggling to complete his latest picture. Consi…

Now that the mosaic has finally been put together, what does it look like? “The Other Side of the Wind” tells the story of a legendary Hollywood director, Jake Hannaford (John Huston), who is struggling to complete his latest picture. Considering that it took more than 40 years to assemble Orson Welles’ final film into […]

‘Other Side of the Wind’ Trailer Gives First Look at Orson Welles’ Final Film

Netflix has released a chaotic trailer for Orson Welles’ unfinished final film “The Other Side of the Wind,” just before its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. John Huston stars as a high-profile Hollywood director making a comebac…

Netflix has released a chaotic trailer for Orson Welles’ unfinished final film “The Other Side of the Wind,” just before its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. John Huston stars as a high-profile Hollywood director making a comeback, much like Welles was attempting. The trailer mixes black-and-white and color footage, and two other filmmakers of […]

Netflix finished Orson Welles’ The Other Side Of The Wind, and now it has a trailer

For decades, the raw footage for one of Orson Welles’ final projects was left in a vault, waiting for someone to come along and buy the rights to finish it. Last year, Netflix realized it was sitting on a big mountain of money, so it acquired The Other…

For decades, the raw footage for one of Orson Welles’ final projects was left in a vault, waiting for someone to come along and buy the rights to finish it. Last year, Netflix realized it was sitting on a big mountain of money, so it acquired The Other Side Of The Wind and—with the approval of Welles’…

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Watch the Trailer for Orson Welles’ Lost Film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

Netflix has released the first trailer for Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind,” a film that was 40 years in the making and will finally premiere at Venice Film Festival this weekend.

Welles began filming the project in 1970 with cast members John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg and Oja Kodar. Financial issues arose, and the production stretched for years and was ultimately never completed or released.

More than a thousand reels of film negatives were stored in a Paris vault until March 2017, when producers Frank Marshall (who served as Welles’s production manager during his initial shooting) and Filip Jan Rymsza pushed forward to complete the film.

Also Read: Will Netflix Finally Finish Orson Welles’ Last Film?

“The Other Side of the Wind” tells the story of director J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (Huston), who heads back to Los Angeles after years of self-exile in Europe to complete his comeback movie.

Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand scored the film, which ultimately became Welles’ last project. Welles’ other credits include 1941’s “Citizen Kane,” 1946’s “The Strangers,” 1958’s “Touch of Evil,” 1962’s “The Trial,” and 1992’s “Don Quixote.”

Also Read: Producer Joseph Infantolino Buys Film Rights to Book on Orson Welles’ Last Movie

Welles died in 1985.

“The Other Side of the Wind” will premiere at the Venice Film Festival this weekend and the New York Film Festival later this fall. Netflix will then release the film in select theaters and on the streaming platform.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kathryn Trosper Popper, ‘Citizen Kane’ Actress and Orson Welles’ Assistant, Dies at 100

Orson Welles’ Lost Film to Debut in October

Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ Oscar Sells for Nearly $1 Million

Netflix has released the first trailer for Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind,” a film that was 40 years in the making and will finally premiere at Venice Film Festival this weekend.

Welles began filming the project in 1970 with cast members John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg and Oja Kodar. Financial issues arose, and the production stretched for years and was ultimately never completed or released.

More than a thousand reels of film negatives were stored in a Paris vault until March 2017, when producers Frank Marshall (who served as Welles’s production manager during his initial shooting) and Filip Jan Rymsza pushed forward to complete the film.

“The Other Side of the Wind” tells the story of director J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (Huston), who heads back to Los Angeles after years of self-exile in Europe to complete his comeback movie.

Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand scored the film, which ultimately became Welles’ last project. Welles’ other credits include 1941’s “Citizen Kane,” 1946’s “The Strangers,” 1958’s “Touch of Evil,” 1962’s “The Trial,” and 1992’s “Don Quixote.”

Welles died in 1985.

“The Other Side of the Wind” will premiere at the Venice Film Festival this weekend and the New York Film Festival later this fall. Netflix will then release the film in select theaters and on the streaming platform.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kathryn Trosper Popper, 'Citizen Kane' Actress and Orson Welles' Assistant, Dies at 100

Orson Welles' Lost Film to Debut in October

Orson Welles' 'Citizen Kane' Oscar Sells for Nearly $1 Million

‘The Other Side of the Wind’ Trailer: Netflix Unveils Orson Welles’ Final Movie and Debuts Mesmerizing First Footage

Welles’ final movie is set to take festival season by storm, starting with a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week.

Ahead of the world premiere of Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind” at the Venice Film Festival, Netflix has debuted the first trailer for the long-in-the-works Hollywood epic. Welles shot the movie between 1970 and 1976, but it’s taken 48 years to finish the film’s post production. Welles died before the movie was completed, but Netflix stepped in to complete the movie starting in 2017.

“The Other Side of the Wind” stars legendary film director John Huston as J.J. “Jake” Hannaford, a grizzled director who returns to a changed Hollywood after spending years abroad in Europe. The filmmaker attempts to make a comeback in Hollywood, but the new landscape of the industry threatens his plans.

Netflix is world premiering “The Other Side of the Wind” at the Venice Film Festival on August 30. The movie will also screen at NYFF. “Wind” will debut on Netflix and in select theaters November 2. Watch the official trailer below.

Orson Welles Fans Can Rent the Hollywood Hills Estate Where the Filmmaker Wrote ‘Citizen Kane’

Apparently, other Hollywood luminaries like Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and David Bowie have also lived in the sprawling mansion.

In the market for a vacation getaway with some real Hollywood history behind it? Why not rent the sprawling Hollywood Hills estate where Orson Welles not only lived but also reportedly wrote Citizen Kane”? A curious new listing on home rental website HomeAway is playing up the apparent bonafides of the “Orson Welles Hollywood Hills Estate,” a four-bedroom, three-bathroom mansion that sleeps eight comfortably and can be yours for the relatively affordable asking price of about eight hundred bucks per night.

This 3,000 square foot “old Hollywood gem” was owned by Welles, and then went on to be owned and inhabited by a long list of other Hollywood luminaries, including Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and David Bowie. If nothing else, it sounds like a hell of a joint to try to crank out your own script.

Per the house’s listing, the “Cape Cod-style estate was originally built in 1928 and has an amazing Hollywood history. Sidney Toler, who played Charlie Chan in the late 30s and 40s, built the house. After several years the house was then inhabited by Orson Welles, the great American filmmaker, actor, theater director, screenwriter, and producer, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished dramatic artists of the twentieth century.”

The house “sits atop Sunset Boulevard” (appropriate) and includes a “15,000 square foot private knoll,” plus a “luxurious lagoon pool with a jacuzzi, surrounded by beautiful foliage, and a huge outdoor deck overlooking stunning views of Hollywood and beyond.”

No word on if the house includes a large pile of (seeming!) junk to sort through in hopes of finding life-altering treasure that helps clarify the meaning of one’s own life, but who knows?

You can check out the full listing over on HomeAway.

Bharat Nalluri To Direct ‘We Interrupt This Program’ On Chaotic Orson Welles’ ‘War Of The Worlds’ Broadcast

EXCLUSIVE: Bharat Nalluri is attached to direct We Interrupt This Program, a drama financed by Echo Lake Entertainment that focuses on the internal battles between Orson Welles and producer John Houseman that nearly derailed the shocking radio broadcas…

EXCLUSIVE: Bharat Nalluri is attached to direct We Interrupt This Program, a drama financed by Echo Lake Entertainment that focuses on the internal battles between Orson Welles and producer John Houseman that nearly derailed the shocking radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938. Without identifying they were performing a sci-fi play, the broadcast panicked listeners into believing an alien invasion was taking place. Sean Sorensen wrote the spec script, and Echo Lake's…

Cannes Classics Pick ‘The Eyes of Orson Welles’ Scores U.S., Overseas Deals (EXCLUSIVE)

Janus Films has acquired “The Eyes of Orson Welles” for the U.S. and will give the documentary, which premiered in the Cannes Classics lineup, a 2019 release. Billed as a love letter to Welles, Mark Cousins’ film is a portrait of the legendary actor an…

Janus Films has acquired “The Eyes of Orson Welles” for the U.S. and will give the documentary, which premiered in the Cannes Classics lineup, a 2019 release. Billed as a love letter to Welles, Mark Cousins’ film is a portrait of the legendary actor and director through the prism of his many paintings and drawings. […]