Shot in 1972 The Other Side of the Wind was Orson Wells’ last film but because of numerous legal property lawsuits and Wells’ ailing health at the time the shooting wrapped up the film was never edited. Let alone released!
Despite the rumors over the last 30somthing years all the raw footage has been hidden away from the public’s view. Could it be that we will finally be able to see the unfinished masterpiece? According to Kenneth Sidle, a Los Angeles lawyer who has been involved in the legal dispute for years the answer is…
Or maybe: “we are in negotiations for the picture, which would lead to the finishing and public exhibition”. Wells’ lover and Jacqueline Boushehri, widow of the producer, both owners of the film’s interest are willing to sell.
And Danny Houston, son of the films star John Houston, is slated to edit the footage. Apparently Wells left notebooks of editing notes so the vision should be halfway ‘accurate’. He says the footage is “absolutely fascinating”.
Apparently the film is some sort of testament to Wells’ life. He told Huston; “It’s about a bastard director… full of himself, who catches people and creates and destroys them. It’s about us, John”. I like this; the first (and better) half of Citizen Kane was clearly based of Welles' life up until then. It was fun; lighthearted with some amazing dialogue. You could see the Welles' saw himself as young Kane, full of ambition and optimism. The second half of the film was speculation of where he might be headed and it wasn't as good. It seems that this film will be a reflection on his whole life not just the first thirty r
However producer Françoise Windhoof is hesitant of letting the footage be edited. He is not against showing the raw footage though. Someone should ell him this is 2011, if the raw footage is shown it will end up in the hands of someone with a computer that has iMovie installed and it will be edited, defiled, and bastardized anyway.
Personally I'd like to see any version of the film and I rather it be an edited one instead of raw footage. I think Welles genius will show regardless.
So just show the damn thing!
However I would refrain from calling it a 'masterpiece' as many news sources have been doing, since it is not yet finished and we will truly never know what Orson Welles' own version would have ended up like.
Lets just call it Orson Welles' Last Movie