Re: Recently Watched Films 2020
Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:13 am
Orson Welles, The Other Side of the Wind, 1970-2018
If you've got the time, there's a ton of info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other ... f_the_Wind but if you're in a rush, here's a passable review https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/a ... pic-satire Welles's film was left unfinished at his death, though he did make Peter Bogdanovich (who plays the eminently irritating Brooks Otterlake) promise to get it done one day. Well, it took until 2018 and Netflix - they also financed a very informative documentary on the movie, Morgan Neville's They'll Love Me When I'm Dead and there's a two-hour rambling chitchat with Dennis Hopper online which might be worth your time - but here it is. It's not only the story of an ageing forgotten-by-the-industry-but-adored-by-young-filmmakers director's movie-within-a-movie (also entitled The Other Side of the Wind, which was supposed be a kind of pisstake of Antonioni but, as Bradshaw says in the above-linked write-up, looks at times as if it was shot by Russ Meyer - plenty of Welles's gal Oja Kodar wandering around in the buff), it's of course the story of Welles's own frustration as a revered figure left out to dry by Hollywood and royally ripped off by everyone. John Huston delivers Jake Hannaford's wry cynical jibes with Noah Cross gusto, but they're very much the words and thoughts of Orson himself, as witnessed by some the things he comes out with in conversation with Hopper. The editing throughout is at breakneck speed - Meyer again comes to mind - zapping between black and white and colour and every available film stock to hand, and by about halfway through you feel like a break (I recommend one, with a stiff glass of Scotch). And when it's all over you may wonder what it was all in aid of: films about filmmaking, especially in the catty world of Hollywood, do become rather tiring after a while, and this, despite fine performances from a cast including Susan Strasberg, Edmond O'Brien, Mercedes McCambridge and Paul Stewart, is no exception. Hopper is one of a handful of young lion directors who appears, playing himself (others include Henry Jaglom, Paul Mazursky, Curtis Harrington and - a middle-aged lion, shall we say - Claude Chabrol), and that Hopper connection is important: Welles obviously knew Dennis's Last Movie, which to my mind tells its film-within-film story better than The Other Side of the Wind. Anyway, a fascinating document, glad it finally appeared.