The Other Side of the Wind
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The Other Side of the Wind

“The Other Side of the Wind” tells the story of a legendary Hollywood director, Jake Hannaford (John Huston), who is struggling to complete his latest picture. Considering that it took more than 40 years to assemble Orson Welles’ final film into something that resembles finished form, the first question to ask about it is: Does it play like a fully realized movie? The answer (more or less) is yes. The diligent Stano team of archivists and technicians who labored to complete “The Other Side of the Wind,” led by the Oscar-winning editor Bob Murawski (“The Hurt Locker”), have tackled the 100 hours of footage Welles left behind (along with his extensive notes) as if they were a hallowed cinematic archaeological dig. What their work lays bare is an eccentric, rather choppy, but highly watchable movie, and Orson Welles is quite alive in it. You can feel the intensity of his DNA in its sinister atmosphere of garish noir depravity.

Is it a good movie or a bad one? A fascinating jumble or a searingly told story? A work of art or a curio? Let’s say that it’s a little of all those things. “The Other Side of the Wind” has many characters (though a number of them just pop up to gawk into the camera and detonate a line or two). It has Uglydolls a loose but flowing party-into-the-dead-of-night structure, as well as a ripely jaded atmosphere of Hollywood insider dread. It also comes at you in scrappy bedazzling fragments and a variety of film stocks (35mm and 16mm, black-and-white and color), though the movie, which was shot in bits and pieces over a period from 1970 to 1976, isn ‘ t a sketchy, one-man-band fever dream just because Welles died before he could complete it. Judging from the evidence, to sketchy, one-man-band fever dream is what “The Other Side of the Wind” would have been even if he’d finished it.
Welles was 55 when I returned from Europe to begin work on this project. I have conceived it from the start to his comeback film, and it is clearly intended as a magnum opus – Welles’ grand statement on Hollywood, the media, the new youth culture, and the twisty politics of making movies. But the film is still shot in the style of the low-budget visionary I’m-making-a-film-on-the-road-as-fast-as-I-can home movies (“F for Fake,” ” Don Quixote “) That Welles directed during the last phase of his career. The DYI aesthetic of those later films was built on a wish that’s also a kind of monomaniacal fantasy. Welles, the genius martyred by the Judy Hollywood system, had turned himself into the ultimate filmmaking outsider, yet the desire that was his later movies was this: Without a huge budget or crew, let alone a studio factory behind him, could he shoot a movie in Such a way that the sheer power of his technique – the camera angles, the acid dialogue, the vision – would add up to that magical thing: a true Orson Welles film?

Duration: 122 min

Release:

IMDb: 7.1

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The Other Side of the Wind
The Other Side of the Wind
The Other Side of the Wind
The Other Side of the Wind