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Posts Tagged ‘The Other Side of the Wind’

A moviemaker who blazed many trails, some of which that led to false paths and others that seemed to meander through Indiana Jones-styled jungle thickets or lost treasure labyrinths, Orson Welles continues to provide many lessons to directors, editors, sound designers, and everyone else involved in moving image creation.  Here is a highly recommended article on a lesser-known ahead-of-its-time innovation in his work: the video essay, as seen in F for Fake.  And the tale of rediscovering and rebuilding one of his “lost temples” of filmmaking (which was reported on in this blog a couple of years ago)— The Other Side of the Wind — goes on.   In a perfect 21st century twist worthy of the director of Citizen Kane, Netflix is the studio that has stepped in to finance this elusive, decades-old project through to fruition.

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Empty Reels

Discovering Lost Reels (photo Carl Casinghino)

An important theme in the study of motion pictures, from the long gestation that led to the first projected movies to today’s dazzling array of effects and sensory enveloping platforms, is the preservation and restoration of lost classics of the cinema.  In earlier posts, such as Treasure Troves from a few months ago, new discoveries by film preservationists and scholars were highlighted in these pages.  Now it appears that, in addition to Too Much Johnson, another of Orson Welles’s lost or unreleased works may see the light of day: The Other Side of the Wind.  The complex tale of its fate is discussed in a new article in the New York Timesinvolving family members of the shah of Iran, 1083 hidden reels of film in storage, an artist drawing on decades of life for inspiration, a director stealing movie prints and escaping in an unmarked van, and much more.  Producer Frank Marshall (a cofounder of Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg) and director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc and a great supporting role on The Sopranos) are working on completing the unfinished edit of the movie.  Among the movies highlighted for study with Moving Images are Touch of Evil and Citizen Kane; whether The Other Side of the Wind will be or not, in whole or part, remains to be seen, while the full cut of The Magnificent Ambersons can remain the lost treasure that will always be lost…

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