Unfinished Orson Welles film released after 40 years

After+his+death+in+1985%2C+an+unexpected+final+film+%E2%80%98The+Other+Side+of+the+Wind%E2%80%99+was+released+November+2.
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Unfinished Orson Welles film released after 40 years

After his death in 1985, an unexpected final film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ was released November 2.

After his death in 1985, an unexpected final film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ was released November 2.

After his death in 1985, an unexpected final film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ was released November 2.

After his death in 1985, an unexpected final film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ was released November 2.

Ivan Weis-Palacios, North Campus Editor

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A huge aspect of art is accenting the truth. There is much in our world that we know but don’t acknowledge. We all know that we should be working hard towards our dreams or spending more time with our loved ones. Many movies will remind us of that fact, especially around this time of year.

The Other Side of the Wind also accents a truth that I find relevant at this time. What’s at the core of this movie is what could be called a cyclical generational civil war. A battle that every person must go through twice.

Before tackling the themes of this art film let’s discuss the film itself as well as its context. This film perked my interest because it is Orson Welles’ latest film. For those of you who are fans, this fact may be surprising. For those of you who are not, let me be the first to tell you that Orson Welles died in 1985.

Welles is considered by many to be the greatest film director of all time. Even if you have not heard of him you probably have heard of his first movie, Citizen Kane or the infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast. He then had a long and rather checkered career in Hollywood, and with his death left numerous unfinished projects. One of which was The Other Side of the Wind.

The Other Side of the Wind was “96% finished” so it wasn’t hard for a studio to gather up the people to finish it and that’s just what Royal Road Entertainment did. They hired the producers, editors, and directors they needed to finish the last 4% of what Orson Welles believed would have been his last masterpiece.

Now that we know the story of the movie let’s discuss its plot. The movie is a mockumentary about the last day of an aging directors’ life. The first thing we are told about the director is that he dies at the end of this day. We then follow him leave the studio and attend a viewing party. The film ends with him driving away alone to meet his fate in a car accident.

In this rather small plot, Orson Welles crams in an incredible amount of character interactions, imagery, even an entire other movie (which the namesake of the feature film). We see throughout the film parts of the movie that the director is trying to make. We meet the actors in the movies, the actors he’s trying to recruit, reporters, other filmmakers, and set workers.

The most important relationship in the film is between the director and his protégé. In this relationship, the generational civil war is embodied.

Orson Welles wanted to make a movie about the transition from the Classic Era of Hollywood into New Hollywood. Movies like The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind are emblematic of the Classic Era of Hollywood.

As less Americans went to the movies in the 1960s and ’70s there came a restructuring of power. This brought in the era of New Hollywood, where directors instead of studios controlled the movies. This was the era of movies like The Graduate and Straw Dogs.

The Other Side of the Wind shows two men; the director and his protégé in the center of this transition. While they both seemingly respect each other there lies a great disdain for what the other represents. The old director is jealous of the money and fame made by his young protégé, and the young protégé resents that all his work is seen as a derivative of his mentor’s.

It doesn’t matter whose idea of filmmaking is purer or correct because what happened always what always happens. The old retire or die and the young take their place. Just as we know the director’s fate, we know the fate of old Hollywood and the old style of filmmaking.

The Other Side of the Wind takes this complex transition and makes it a truly engaging film that will leave you thinking about it for the week to come. Watch it because I have just scratched the surface.

About the Writer
Ivan Weis-Palacios, North Campus Editor

A student at North Campus of the Community College of Allegheny County, Ivan Weis-Palacios is serving as News Editor of "The Voice" for 2018-2019.

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