Orson Welles's Last Movie

Orson Welles's Last Movie

The Making of The Other Side of the Wind

Book - 2015
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In the summer of 1970 legendary but self-destructive director Orson Welles returned to Hollywood from years of self-imposed exile in Europe and decided it was time to make a comeback movie. Coincidentally it was the story of a legendary self-destructive director who returns to Hollywood from years of self-imposed exile in Europe. Welles swore it wasn't autobiographical. The Other Side of the Wind was supposed to take place during a single day, and Welles planned to shoot it in eight weeks. It took twelve years and remains unreleased and largely unseen. Orson Welles' Last Movie is a fast-paced, behind-the-scenes account of the bizarre, hilarious and remarkable making of what has been called "the greatest home movie that no one has ever seen."
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2015
Edition: First edition
Description: 336 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9781250007087
Branch Call Number: 791.4372 Oth


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Sep 15, 2015

Orson Welles famously said "I started at the top and worked my way down." Before he was 30 he conquered radio ("The War of the Worlds" broadcast), theater (his all-black production of "Macbeth"), Hollywood ("Citizen Kane"), and Rita Hayworth. Yet he could no quite live up to his own talent, something that couldn't have been helped by a colossal ego and a tendency to leave things unfinished. For many cineastes, he's the ultimate Hollywood martyr; a towering genius undone by crass executives who knew nothing about art. The more you read about his troubled (or incomplete) films, the more you get the nagging suspicion that Welles has to shoulder some of the blame. "The Magnificent Ambersons," the follow-up to Kane, was butchered by the studio, but he was out the country at the time. And I never really understood why his "Othello," which was filmed over several years (and countries) took so long to finish. This book is about his legendary (or infamous) unfinished and unseen final film, "The Other Side of the Wind." It's both a portrait of an aging artist, whose reputation was at least intact among film fans, and a look at the production of what seems like an elaborate home movie starring, among others, John Huston and Welles's girlfriend, and, at one time, financially backed by an the shah of Iran's brother-in-law. Really, it's perfectly fitting that his career (although he kept acting) ended this way. After all, this is a man who wanted to make "Don Quixote." Clips of the movie surface from time to time, including in his oddball documentary, "F for Fake." The book's not particularly illuminating, but will appeal to the reader already familiar with Welles and there are lots of juicy anecdotes. Who knows if the film, in any form, will ever be released. It's "hard to imagine a movie career more littered with sensational catastrophes than mine."-Welles, 1979

Jul 31, 2015

Fascinating book. Infuriating that we will probably never see the Welles film that is the book's subject, The Other Side of the Wind.

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