Of all Orson Welles’ unfinished projects it is The Other Side of the Wind that demands most attention. Shot over half a dozen years during the 1970s the film, which stars real-life Hollywood director John Huston as a fictional filmmaker named Jake Hannaford, eventually ground to a halt over money problems.
The film remained unfinished at the time of Welles’ death in 1985. In the years since a succession of people have struggled to pull it into some sort of meaningful state. Finally it looks like a consortium – including leading Hollywood producer Frank Marshall – may be close to bringing the project to a conclusion.
Now in 2015 – Welles’ centenary year – they are to launch a crowd-funding campaign to raise the estimated $2 million needed to complete the movie.
Clips from the film were shown at an American Film Institute to Welles in the 1970s. Since then The Other Side of the Wind has been mired in disagreements, arguments, ill feeling and bitterness.
I would be thrilled to see the film. Back in the days of Bradford International Film Festival I hosted a strand entitled ‘Unfinished: The Films That Never Were’ that included special guest Gary Graver, the cinematographer who had laboured with Welles on The Other Side of the Wind. Among the extracts screened were clips from Welles’ The Deep, Don Quixote, The Merchant of Venice and The Other Side of the Wind as well as Hitchcock’s Kaleidoscope, Joseph von Sternberg’s I, Claudius and Tony Richardson’s Laughter in the Dark, starring Richard Burton and Anna Karina.
© Tony Earnshaw, 2015