Reviews of The Other Side of the Wind (2018) and related work
- Document: They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (2018)
Seen in 2022.
The last day in the life of an Old-Hollywood film director making and previewing an aimless New-Hollywood film.
Shot in 1970–1976, heavily edited until Orson Welles’s death in 1985, and then edited some more. It’s a big mess. It seems like every other scene is shot around the absence of some actor in that scene, using the darkness of multiple power outages to mask inconsistencies between shots and sets from different continents and time periods, all with a skeleton crew of New-Hollywood, pre-Jaws (1975) fanboys, most of it unscripted and barely planned. The project, and especially the wordless film-within-the-film on an empty Hollywood backlot, was supposed to be an indie comment on the state of Hollywood in 1970, but it all went so badly and so slowly that it must have felt as though there was no point in releasing it in the later age of the blockbuster. There are certainly good moments in this Limelight (1952). Welles really does outdo Antonioni in some shots of the film-within-the-film, and co-star Peter Bogdanovich aces the delivery of a joke about zooms and dollies, but the whole is weak.
‣ They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (2018)
Seen in 2022.
The making of the feature film, focusing on the artistic process. The financial and legal difficulties of the project are peripheral.
Unsurprisingly, craftsmanship on the documentary about the mockumentary about the film-within-the-film is better than on the mockumentary.