The release of The Other Side of the Wind can be characterized as a major film event, desired by film buffs for several years. This is because this is the last work directed by the legendary Orson Welles, creator of “Citizen Kane” – considered by many experts the best movie in the world (watch here).
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Moreover, all the mythology around this feature that now wins the world through Netflix has only grown over the years. And the result, which can now be seen and appreciated by all, is surprising.
Welles gave up directing for failing to finalize this feature during its production that lasted virtually the entire 1970s. The film reels were lost in warehouses and its conclusion became a myth. After the director’s death in 1985, few had hoped that The Other Side of the Wind debuted. Netflix has changed this, and we can check out one of the most brilliant works of this man who has always been a visionary.
An autobiography in disguise
The Other Side of the Wind can be considered the film-testament and also an Orson Welles disguised autobiography. He, who always wanted to do things his way and was long considered the “enfant terrible” of Hollywood for always trying to escape his conventional rules, creates here a story that has much to do with his own life.
In the movie we follow the path of an eccentric director named Jake Hannaford, who for many years filmed in Europe to escape the Hollywood scheme of producing films. Knowing to be at the end of his life, he decides to return to the United States to perform the one that is his most ambitious work, at the same time he also cleans up his life of excesses and his relations with the people who have passed, one way or another, from his life. This plot, as you can see, has a lot to do with Welles himself, who also felt at the time of production that it would be his last chance to make a movie in his own way, after years of “catching up” with the American studios system that no longer wanted to fund his cinematic adventures.
For the lead role, Welles called another actor-director who, like him, had an adventurous temper and eccentric life, who could rebel against the system whenever he could: John Huston, the man responsible for features like “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, “The Maltese Falcon” and “Prizzi’s Honnor”, considered great American classics. Here he gives life to Hannaford almost interpreting himself, with his idiosyncrasies and mannerisms typical of those who have a very strong worldview and who does not give up his convictions. It is a difficult role in a story that seems complicated, which includes a “movie within the movie”, and that needs a lot of attention to be absorbed completely.
Embarking on madness
Welles mixes reality with fiction, giving an air of documentary to The Other Side of the Wind. This style is totally purposeful, since its intention is that we, spectators, have the sensation that we are seeing a real person, and not an actor playing a part. In this way, we embark on the madness of Hannaford’s mind in the attempt to create his ultimate work and thus perpetuate his view of society before he dies.
That’s how Welles says goodbye to his authorial work, and it’s a shame he did not live to see the result of all the effort he took to complete it. It was more than 40 years before the movie got to daylight, and the wait was worth it. It’s a difficult movie, but it shows the strong mind of a man who, rightly, is considered one of the biggest names in cinema of all times.
Trailer and additional information about The Other Side of the Wind Netflix
Synopsis 1: An iconic filmmaker creates an edgy comeback movie in the age of “anything goes”. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Synopsis 2: On the last day of his life, a legendary director struggles to complete a new project and contemplates his legacy in this layered film by Orson Welles.
Age rating: 14