ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

US/Iran/France 122m, Colour/B&W
Director: Orson Welles; Cast: John Huston, Oja Kodar, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Bob Random, Lilli Palmer, Edmond O’Brien, Mercedes McCambridge, Cameron Mitchell, Paul Stewart, Gregory Sierra, Tonio Selwart, Dan Tobin, Joseph McBride, Dennis Hopper

Years ahead of its time, The Other Side of the Wind is an amusing mockumentary and a brilliant satire of the state of filmmaking in the late 1960s. For numerous financial and legal reasons, too numerous to mention here, this project was left unfinished for more than 40 years. Starring John Huston as J.J. “Jake” Hannaford, an aged cantankerous, but highly respected Hollywood director looking for money to finish his last film,  The Other Side of the Wind consists of both footage from Hannaford’s unfinished film, and that of a screening party in which he hopes will raise much-needed funds. Ironically mirroring Welles’ own financial troubles, Hannaford’s character would seem at least coincidently autobiographical – especially since Peter Bogdanovich played Hannaford’s acolyte who, like his character, had early critical success as a filmmaker, and was a Welles’ devotee. Like his later project, F For Fake (1973), in which Welles’ questions the reality of art, The Other Side of the Wind is a tour de force of deception and is arguably one of his greatest achievements in film (Klaus Ming December 2018).

4 comments on “The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

  1. Pingback: They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (2018) | ming movie reviews

  2. Anthony Lee Collins

    The story of Hannaford is wonderful (artistically wonderful — somewhat squirm-inducing and awkward from the point of view of the characters). Huston is great, and Bogdanovich is very good, too.

    In the conversations between Welles and Bogdanovich (in the book This Is Orson Welles) they talk a lot about the fate of older directors (even John Ford got to the point where he couldn’t raise money to get a picture made — John Ford!).

    This may not be exactly as Welles would have cut it — but that was true of most of his pictures, and I can guarantee it’s closer than some (Ambersons, for example).

    I’ve written about it twice, so far:

    I know I’ll write more. For example, I’m fascinated by the fact that the first in-story scene is Oja Kodar;s character observing some naked women in a steam bath, and the last is her, alone in a drive-in theater, looking at herself, naked, on the screen. The movie is so much about men and all the things that draw men together (and mostly exclude women — look how Strasberg’s character is treated) — but I think, as usual, Welles was very much interested in the women. This (men without women — to borrow from Hemingway) is central to his analysis of King Lear, for example, and (IIRC) somewhat about Othello also.

    Anyway, I should stop here… 🙂

    • Klaus

      I agree, there are so many levels to this film. As for Hannaford’s film, it has some pretty arresting images that I think would have been celebrated by film historians (if they had appeared in a “real” film of the day). The car-sex scene is just one of these.

      Considering that Welles seemingly was resigned to the fact that the film would eventually be completed after his death, I think that he might be happy with the final cut as it stands. It would be interesting to see how his 40 min cut compared to this.

      This is definitely one of my favourites, and i’ll eventually write up a 1000 word piece – adding it to my top 100 movies section.

      I look forward to reading more of what you’ve written – thanks for the links.

  3. Pingback: movies, commas, and dreams » Anthony Lee Collins

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This entry was posted on 12/17/2018 by in 2010s, All, Unlisted and tagged .
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