The Other Side of the Wind, the last Orson Welles gift
In addition to being a talented movie director, Orson Welles was also an actor and producer. His first feature length film, Citizen Kane (1941) was an immense success that propelled his film-making career and influenced hundreds of others.
Between 1970 and 1976, he worked on a movie that remained unfinished, The Other Side of the Wind. The story is about an old movie director, J.J. Hannaford, the product of fusing John Ford and Ernest Hemingway. Hannaford returns to Los Angeles after spending several years on the Old Continent. He’s about to finish a new film and a party has been organized in his honor, but the director dies a short time later while at the wheel of a sports car. Suicide or accident, the mystery remains unsolved.
Why wasn’t this film finished? There are multiple explanations, but according to the director it would be the fault of his Iranian associate, Mehdi Bousheri, whose involvement would have held back the original negative for several years, preventing the complete editing.
Why is this film just surfacing now, more than 40 years later? The director of production Frank Marshall and Filip Jan Rymsza recovered thousands of film reels in Paris and put together the full-length film according to Welles’ notes and scenario.
Among the film locations there is Orvilliers in France, but also sites in Spain, Phoenix, Carefree in Connecticut and of course in Los Angeles.
It’s not a surprise that Orson Welles had chosen to film some scenes in France. He was totally in love with the French “Hexagon”. Even though he encountered numerous disappointments there, he had all the same chosen to make it a place of residence and favorite filming location, for example at the Orsay Museum in Paris for The Trial as we mention in our guide Paris of 1000 cult movies, series, musics, comics and novels locations.
The film should come to the Netflix streaming platform in November and will be included in the official selection for the New York Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.