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February 04, 2007

Another side of Other Side of the Wind: a Wellesian oral history

At Bright Lights, Damien Love goes in-depth with Peter Bogdanovich and James McBride about the about-to-be-seen late Orson Welles effort, The Other Side of the Wind. It's a 9,000 word must-read. Here's Bogdanovich on the long-mooted Showtime prospect to finish the film: "Well, a major American cable company has been negotiating with the parties involved, which involves Orson's estate, toc_welles.jpg [his creative and life partner] Oja Kodar, and the Iranian Medhi Boushehri, who invested some money into the picture. I don't want to say which network, but it's been going on for six years now, the negotiation, and I would say we're one signature away from it becoming a reality. Orson, at one point in 1971 or '72, said to me that if anything happened to him before the film was finished, that he wanted me to finish it. I said, “It's not gonna happen, Orson, why’d you even bring it up.” He said, [imagine Bogdanovich breaking into his Welles impression here] “I'm very Anglo-Saxon that way, I don't mind talking about death. If anything did happen, I'd want you to finish it. Do you promise?” And I said yes. So, ever since he died, in '85, I have tried to figure out ways to do it. And that has been a heavy burden. It's very frustrating, because virtually all of it is shot and about 40 minutes has been cut by Orson. The rest is in vaults, in daily forms. There's notes on a lot of stuff, there's a screenplay, and it's gonna require quite a bit of work to get it done, mostly editing, but luckily now we have computer editing, which makes things a lot easier. Orson would have loved that — he'd have loved to have lived to see computer editing, it moves things much faster, you can try stuff far more quickly than you could years ago."

Posted by Ray Pride at February 4, 2007 11:14 PM


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