According to The New York Times, producers for the unfinished Orson Welles film The Other Side of The Wind have received a committment from Netflix in order to finish production on the movie that various people have been trying to get made since the late 70’s. The film revolves around main character Jake Hanaford, a director struggling to get back into the Hollywood mainstream with a movie that would be his comeback. Set at his birthday party, the director tries to wrangle funds to finish the movie. Intercut between scenes at his party are clips from the film itself, which Welles filmed as a satire on directors of that time such as Michelangelo Antonioni.
The film has been in production for well over 40 years. Notoriously entangled in rights issues, the very negatives had been sitting in a vault in Paris while the fate of the film was fought in court by various parties, including Welle’s daughter Beatrice as well as his mistress Oja Kodar. Producers Peter Bogdanovich and Frank Marshall are assisting with efforts to get the film in a state to finally see the light of day. Thanks to the committment from Netflix, eight pallets of negatives that had been in a Paris vault are now in Los Angeles going through the editing process.
This is good news for Welles’ fans. During the last years of his life, Orson Welles’ did whatever he could to get financing to finish this film but to no avail. The story of the financing alone would probably make a movie in and of itself, which may be a part of a planned documentary Netflix is potentially producing on the project. The current producers had previously used the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to try and attract donors, asking for two million dollars to finish the editing, create music, and other post production costs on the film. That campaign ended up raising $406,605. The few people that did contribute money via Indiegogo were left in the dark initially on the negotiations with Netflix.
Peter Bogdanovich will help head the editing process. Using some previously edited together work from Orson Welles as well as detailed notes on how he wanted the final editing to be pieced together, they will bring the final product to as close as they can to the original vision Orson Welles had for the project.
The drawback on a project like this finally seeing the light of day would boil down to people’s expectations. Welles’ legend as a filmmaker came from such films as Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil, two masterpieces of American cinema. While the general story of the film is available for people to read online, that doesn’t mean the final product will meet the standard of quality people associate with Orson Welles’ work. The expectations for how great this film could potentially be could far outweigh what the final product will reveal.
No release date for the movie has been announced.
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SOURCE: The New York Times