In the lore of unreleased movies, there’s The Day the Clown Cried, and then there’s everything else. The Other Side of the Wind is one of those everything-elses, and possibly one of the biggest of them. It’s Orson Welles’ unfinished final film, and Netflix is releasing it IN THEATERS! That’s a fantastic announcement for a film by a filmmaker whose movies need to be seen big or not at all.
In March of last year, Netflix bought over 1,000 reels of negatives the Welles had shot before his death and entrusted them to Frank Marshall, the production designer on the original shoot, to edit and put together into a finished film. Cinephiles were worried that the streaming company would only put the film up on their service, denying us the chance to see the movie as the director intended it. Thankfully Netflix saw the light and will be rolling the movie out to theaters, though there’s no release schedule yet.
Welles shot The Other Side of the Wind between 1970 and 1976, but through a series of financial issues and health setbacks was unable to release the movie before his death in 1985. The negatives sat in a vault in Paris with no one doing anything to them for decades thanks to some legal issues until Netflix came along. The film is evidently a satire of Hollywood, critiquing machoness and homophobia, and is cut up into two sections that follow an older director and his most recent work. Evidently, Welles was using a found footage style for some of the film decades before that was even a thing. In short, it sounds amazing.