Big news for Orson Welles fans.
The Other Side of the Wind, which was his unfinished last film, which he struggled for years to complete, will eventually see the light of day. While I don’t think it will be a particularly great movie (based on existing bootleg footage I’ve seen over the years), I nonetheless look forward to it.
PARIS — For more than four decades, Hollywood insiders, financiers and dreamers have been obsessed by the quest to recover “The Other Side of the Wind,” the unfinished last film of Orson Welles. Cinema buffs consider it the most famous movie never released, an epic work by one of the great filmmakers.
Endless legal battles among the rights holders, including Welles’s daughter, kept the 1,083 reels of negatives inside a warehouse in a gritty suburb of Paris despite numerous efforts to complete the film — a movie within a movie about the comeback attempt of an aging, maverick director played by John Huston.
The quest may be over. A Los Angeles production company, Royal Road Entertainment, said on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the sometimes-warring parties to buy the rights. The producers say they aim to have it ready for a screening in time for May 6, the 100th anniversary of Welles’s birth, and to promote its distribution at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif., next month…
Royal Road, which has produced several foreign independent movies, spent five years chasing after the rights. It had to negotiate a détente among the rights holders: Welles’s longtime companion and collaborator, Oja Kodar; his daughter and sole heir, Beatrice Welles; and an Iranian-French production company, L’Astrophore.
During the last 15 years of his life, Welles, who died in 1985, worked obsessively on the film, which chronicles a temperamental film director — much like him — who is battling with the Hollywood establishment to finish an iconoclastic work. The supporting cast included Susan Strasberg, Lilli Palmer, Dennis Hopper and Peter Bogdanovich, who basically played himself, a young up-and-coming director.