Orson Welles' archives of unfinished/never released movies and the last years of his life from the perspective of Oja Kodar (life and artistic partner Of Orson Welles in his last years). ...
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In the final fifteen years of the life of legendary director Orson Welles he pins his Hollywood comeback hopes on a film, The Other Side of the Wind, in itself a film about an aging film director trying to finish his last great movie.
Essay film shot for TV including Orson Welles reflections on Othello close to the Moviola, a chat with Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir and fragments of a conversation with the audience in Boston after a screening of the film.
During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his remote 10th Century castle hoping a battle there against the advancing Germans will not lead to its destruction and all the heritage within.
Over a slice of chocolate cake, a mother (Yuh Jung Youn) and daughter (Jung Yu-mi) tensely discuss the good-for-nothing relative whose money troubles have brought them to the seaside town ... See full summary »
Orson Welles' archives of unfinished/never released movies and the last years of his life from the perspective of Oja Kodar (life and artistic partner Of Orson Welles in his last years). She discovers with the viewer many of the projects that Orson never completed or short movies that he never released : The Magic Show, Swinging London (and its segment the one man band that gives its title to the documentary), Vienna, The Merchant of Venice, Moby Dick, The Deep, The other Side of the Wind, The Dreamers. Oja returns to Orson's abandoned house in Orvilliers (France) where she discovers more of his writings during the preparation of the Moby Dick project. Despite the destruction of squatters, Orson's work still remains after all these years; despite the discouragement of Hollywood producers and of financial problems, the talent of Welles still remains clearly visible in this unfinished movies.Written by
Cyril Aubaud (email@example.com)
This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Criterion Collection DVD for F for Fake (1973), released in 2005. See more »
There are two version of this documentary: a German version released in 1996 and an american version narrated by Peter Bogdanovich released in the US on showtime in 2003. There are a couple of scenes in the German version not included in the US version. There are a couple of scenes in the US version from the Other side of the Wind, Don Quixote, and Filming Othello not included in the German version. See more »
When Orson Welles died in 1985, he left behind him several masterpieces, several interesting failures & countless performances in films of varying quality. He also left a massive amount of unfinished work & the legend of a great filmmaker who peaked early & spent the rest of his career struggling to finish projects, most of which remain incomplete.
I'm not sure if this documentary debunks or cements that image, but it doesn't really matter, because the real image one is left with is of a filmmaker as a true artist, experimenting with different techniques & ideas as soon as they occur to him, often abandoning films as one might throw away a rough sketch that doesn't quite work. He carried his editing table around the world with him as a painter might carry his brushes & paint.
The real joy to be had here is in seeing these rough sketches - short comic skits, recitals from Moby Dick & Shakespeare, screentests & so on. Even more tantalising are the brief glimpses of larger projects which were unable to be completed - The Deep, The Other Side Of The Wind & The Merchant Of Venice. There's several appearances by Welles himself in various forums - talking at a university, performing magic & chatting with the Muppets.
Oja Kodar, Welles' longtime companion & collaborator, takes the viewer through this previously unseen body of work & gives a picture of the filmmaker that is in marked contrast to the commonly held image of Welles as some kind of burnt-out megalomaniac.
Underlying this film is a deep sadness at the fact that Orson Welles could have achieved so much more, had he been given the chance & not run into so much bad luck, but it is wonderful that some of his 'lost' films have been allowed to see the light of day.
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