The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

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domino harvey
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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#276 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:30 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:56 am
Image
Abdellatif Kechiche is Welles' heir apparent if Mektoub, My Love is any indication

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Roger Ryan
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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#277 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:35 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:55 pm
...but the one thing that nags at me is just how much of this Welles intended to be self insertion and how much of it is meant at some level to be pitch black satire. A great many things that Huston's character experiences are ones that Welles did as well and in one instance, explicitly so.
Welles is absolutely using his personal background to inform the film: John Dale's birth name was "Oscar", for God's sake, which his fellow students at the all-boy's school (read as Welles' own Todd School) teased him about (not too hard to see the name as a substitute for "Orson"); the English teacher Burroughs, along with Dale's "Aunt Daisy", are clearly modeled on Welles' mentor at Todd, Roger "Skipper" Hill, and his wife Hortense, respectively; Hannaford's line regarding Hemingway's "left hook being overrated" is a direct reference to the fist-to-cuffs Welles reportedly got into with Hemingway during the recording of the narration for the Hemingway-scripted This Spanish Earth in 1937. In fact, the entire film was inspired by Welles' distrust of the macho facade put on by men like Hemingway.

By the nature of Hannaford being an aging director trying to complete his film, the viewer naturally assumes he is a stand-in for the director of the film we're watching. But Welles also wants you to know that the Hannaford character is not entirely inspired by Welles himself. A crucial bit of early info (admittedly, presented in an obfuscated manner) reveals Hannaford's utter contempt for "hippies" or the youth culture of the time. This would have been the direct opposite of Welles' true feelings and was meant to indicate to a younger audience that Hannaford was a flawed character who could be mean-spirited despite his obvious charm. Also, while Welles is clearly on the side of the filmmaker creating his work free of studio interference, he must know that Hannaford's film is ridiculous and inauthentic. Essentially, Welles has it both ways: his vicious satire is built on real-life experiences, people he has admired, and even himself; whatever it takes to get across the themes he's addressing.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#278 Post by Kirkinson » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:34 am

Just got back from seeing this in 35mm and I thought it was fantastic, truly top-tier Welles for me — maybe just under Kane and The Trial. I will probably have to watch it a few more times to say anything truly insightful (and I think commenters here so far have done a really great job analyzing the story & characters) but at the moment I am really awestruck by just how radical it felt. It's so wild and disorienting and breathless, but it feels absolutely authentically like a mid-70s Welles film should. It's as if F for Fake was a fuse and this is the bomb. It feels cut from the same cloth as that one, and from the same cloth as the scenes we know Welles already worked on — Murawski really did superb work here and ought to be given every possible award for it.

Visually it's just incredible to look at, as well. Much has been made in reviews about how gorgeous the film-within-the-film is, and that's very true — the use of color and reflective surfaces is astonishing — but I think the visual style of the meat of the story is also fascinating and has possibly gone undervalued in comparison. While it looks like a total mess at first, I think the method behind the mess eventually starts to reveal itself as you get used to the film's rhythms. In the universe of the film, each of the documentary, television, and news crews scattered around the party has their own distinct shooting style. One crew is shooting on grainy black-and-white 16mm with zoom lenses, another on smooth, silvery black-and-white 35mm with normal-range lenses, another in color with mostly wides — it may all just be a clever way of dealing with a stop-and-start production shooting on scraps, but I think it works brilliantly, and each style seems totally consistent unto itself. It really looks as if it was assembled from several different unique creative perspectives. It might be a fun project to cut some reels together of various shots from each of those different formats & styles to see if they really are as consistent as they felt to me while I was watching.

I can't wait to see it again. It's still surreal to me that this even exists, let alone that Netflix helped make it happen. (It's also pretty surreal to see their logo projected in a theater on 35mm!)

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#279 Post by Roscoe » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:12 am

Roger Ryan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:35 pm
By the nature of Hannaford being an aging director trying to complete his film, the viewer naturally assumes he is a stand-in for the director of the film we're watching. But Welles also wants you to know that the Hannaford character is not entirely inspired by Welles himself. A crucial bit of early info (admittedly, presented in an obfuscated manner) reveals Hannaford's utter contempt for "hippies" or the youth culture of the time. This would have been the direct opposite of Welles' true feelings and was meant to indicate to a younger audience that Hannaford was a flawed character who could be mean-spirited despite his obvious charm. Also, while Welles is clearly on the side of the filmmaker creating his work free of studio interference, he must know that Hannaford's film is ridiculous and inauthentic. Essentially, Welles has it both ways: his vicious satire is built on real-life experiences, people he has admired, and even himself; whatever it takes to get across the themes he's addressing.
Well yeah, and there's also the backstory of Hannaford coming from a distinguished theatrical dynasty, which seems more true of Huston than of Welles. And Jake's father's name, Junius, pretty blatantly echoes the name of Junius Brutus Booth, the father of Edwin Booth and the notorious John Wilkes Booth.

I can echo some of what has been posted so far about the film. I just can't say that I found it particularly interesting except as a grab bag of flashy celluloid -- the characters are merely dreadful, never once becoming particularly interesting. Even Billy Boyd comes off like a pale imitation other Welles characters, Bernstein in KANE and Menzies in TOUCH OF EVIL, without ever for a moment summoning the interest or pathos of his predecessors. I'd seen a couple of sections from the film before in a program of Orson Welles Rarities a few years back, and found them to be the real highlights of the film -- that car scene in particular.

Maybe repeat viewings will reveal more. Mileage varies.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#280 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:44 pm

Can anyone confirm the suggestion that Netflix gave permission to the producers to secure a deal for a physical media release? I thought I read that somewhere that may have been a second hand source.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#281 Post by senseabove » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:55 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:44 pm
Can anyone confirm the suggestion that Netflix gave permission to the producers to secure a deal for a physical media release? I thought I read that somewhere that may have been a second hand source.
DRW.mov wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:15 am
I attended a screening of TOSOTW earlier this week at USC, and in the Q&A the producers, Frank Marshall and Filip Rymsza, stated that they are already working on creating special feature elements for a planning physical “special edition” release, they specifically mentioned making something out of the hours outtakes including hours of onset interviews with Chabrol, Hopper, Bogdanovich, etc. They stated that doing a lavish physical release is very important to them and that Netflix has given them essentially a carte blanche in terms of physical and theatrical distribution. A 35mm print has been struck and is touring and 4 more are on their way and the film will be exhibited on 35mm wherever applicable. Marshall and Rymsza appear to be far from finished getting this film the full release expected of it and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they’re able to bring it to disc via Criterion or Kino or someone of that caliber.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#282 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:01 pm

Marshall and Rymsza appear to be far from finished getting this film the full release expected of it and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they’re able to bring it to disc via Criterion or Kino or someone of that caliber.
Awesome. Thanks senseabove. I can't see Criterion letting this one slip by.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#283 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:11 pm

david hare wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:06 pm
I will raise one technical question here. I also raised it on social media but it can probably only be answered by a technical person. I watched it on reference standard Panasonic 4k display. with HDR. So we watched Netflix’ own 4K HDR standard broadcast. The image quality was superb, if light on grain which is consistent for Netflix 4K stuff. But in all, and I mean every single one of the B&W shots there is constant color banding, across the image. Sometimes light pink sometimes light green. It’s maddening. It looks like a chroma issue but is probably related to metadata in the encoding. Has anyone else seen this, in any format?
Yikes, I've only seen the 35mm print that was premiered at the NYFF (and presumably shown at IFC this past week), and not surprisingly I didn't see anything like that.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#284 Post by FlickeringWindow » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:05 pm

Over the last few months, I've rewatched all of Welles' finished films inclusive of all available cuts on Blu-ray when possible (DVD for Ambersons and Arkadin, obviously) in anticipation of this.

The Other Side of the Wind is in this magical place where it's both a mess and masterpiece. It's pure chaos, but it makes it seem like this feverish dream. Especially the film within the film that becomes more and more surreal. It reminded me how the extreme length of the restaurant scene in Tati's Playtime leaves you almost exhausted, almost like you've been up all night with the patrons. I'll admit that I'm a bit biased since I love pretty much anything Welles made.

I found myself glued to the screen, fascinated with what I'm seeing and hearing. F for Fake is my favorite of Welles' films and also probably my all-time favorite film. It was a gigantic influence when I was studying film in college. Welles takes this further. After watching They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, it's as if Welles was trying to be the first method director. Some scenes left me with a huge smile on my face from how brilliantly they played.

Quality-wise, I'm impressed with how wonderful this looks via the Netflix stream. I watched via my 4K monitor upscaled from 1080p and it looked very close to Blu-ray quality. I admire how they didn't try to make it look "better" by blasting grain away. While I really wish they had opted for a mono track since 5.1 seems a bit unnecessary, the sound mixing really isn't that different from a lot of other Welles films. After all, he had no reservations about post-dubbing, whether it worked perfectly or not. (I didn't see any color banding issues on the B&W portions, but I wasn't watching in 4K).

This does make me wish the rest of Welles' unfinished work got a proper release. According to the Neville doc, The Deep, like Wind, was fully shot and just needed sound work.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#285 Post by Drucker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:43 pm

I saw the workprint of The Deep a few years ago at MOMA and it was quite good! I remember thinking it was a great popcorn flick, and definitely seemed like something that could have been a real hit.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#286 Post by albucat » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:26 pm

I thought there was a full reel missing from The Deep, aside from sound issue (or was it that the sound for the reel went missing, something like that)? In any case, I've long wondered about whether someone could put out a sort of odds & ends release for Welles. There are completed things like Portrait of Gina that are unavailable, but also so many miscellaneous longer films that remain incomplete but have fascinating sequences which still exist and I wish were available. It's always seemed like a crazy long shot, but then so did TOSOTW.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#287 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:39 pm

FlickeringWindow wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:05 pm
This does make me wish the rest of Welles' unfinished work got a proper release. According to the Neville doc, The Deep, like Wind, was fully shot and just needed sound work.
Forgot about this, but I was struck by how much of the dialogue in The Other Side of the Wind (particularly Bogdanovich's) sounded like location audio, to the point where it was a little difficult to make out what they were saying. They were doing ADR, even getting John Huston's son Danny to impersonate him, and Bogdanovich doesn't sound that different now, so I wonder if there were mix notes or other reasons for this.

I bring this up because I think ADR was mentioned as being one of the major things needed for The Deep. Unfortunately Moreau is now gone too, but still, may location audio can work?

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#288 Post by bearcuborg » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:48 pm

I had wondered if it was Alice Tully Hall that was responsible for the sound difficulties, but I later found out that they left much of the audio alone.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#289 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:49 pm

I couldn't hear much of Inherent Vice's dialogue at Alice Tully Hall, and The Other Side of the Wind sounded fine to me viewed elsewhere entirely, as did Inherent Vice upon revisit elsewhere. Just to provide some data points to you.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#290 Post by senseabove » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:00 pm

The "Final Cut for Orson" doc on Netflix, which is buried in the Trailers section of the main OSotW page, goes into some detail about the audio restoration. They didn't have the original tapes for the audio they did have, though I forget how many generations away it was, if they said. It was apparently in rough shape, however far away it was, but they used it where they had it, with some substantial clean-up, and looped what they didn't with sound-alikes. I imagine that would account for the difference in clarity more than any intentional mixing choices.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#291 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:00 pm

bearcuborg wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:48 pm
I had wondered if it was Alice Tully Hall that was responsible for the sound difficulties, but I later found out that they left much of the audio alone.
I never had a problem with Alice Tully Hall's sound system before. Apparently it was terrible before the 2007 renovation because when I saw Mike Leigh present Another Year, he mentioned how everything was massively improved, particularly the sound (which he said was indeed awful).

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#292 Post by Big Ben » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:14 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:39 pm
I bring this up because I think ADR was mentioned as being one of the major things needed for The Deep. Unfortunately Moreau is now gone too, but still, may location audio can work?
Imdb states that the film is missing an explosion near the end of the film and the audio issues you mentioned. A workprint exists as mentioned previously. I'm no expert but I imagine something could be made of it.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#293 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:40 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:14 pm
hearthesilence wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:39 pm
I bring this up because I think ADR was mentioned as being one of the major things needed for The Deep. Unfortunately Moreau is now gone too, but still, may location audio can work?
Imdb states that the film is missing an explosion near the end of the film and the audio issues you mentioned. A workprint exists as mentioned previously. I'm no expert but I imagine something could be made of it.
The Deep only has some on-location audio and dubbing by Welles (doing a very bizarre accent for the Laurence Harvey character); it amounts to about 20% of the film; 80% is silent. Basically, the entire audio track would need to be recreated from scratch...and I just don't think the film has enough potential to warrant a multi-million dollar clean-up/reconstruction (my opinion, of course).

On the other hand, Welles' 1956 30-min. short for Desilu, The Fountain of Youth, is one of the most interestingly-directed things he ever did and should really be available in high quality. I'm also hoping the Munich Filmmuseum's reconstruction/completion of The Merchant of Venice (1969) gets some kind of release - it is now the only Welles film I haven't seen.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#294 Post by nolanoe » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:10 pm

Yes, this is exactly what I had hope it would be: an amazing, wild, nocturnal, dreamlike experience. Having seen the "car scene" before, the highlight of the "fake film" was the "toilet sequence". Aside of that... my god, is Huston good in this!! It really, really works. And comes together perfectly.

As an aside... the "fake film" really did remind me of early 80s era Jess Franco, who aimed at a similarly hallucinatory style with titles like Macumba Sexual. Noteworthy due to the Welles connection, I suppose. It feels like a puzzle piece finally clicks into place.
hearthesilence wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:11 pm
Yikes, I've only seen the 35mm print that was premiered at the NYFF (and presumably shown at IFC this past week), and not surprisingly I didn't see anything like that.
I also did not see such a thing.

but what I saw was an occasional box of frame-counts in the lower left corner and something similar in the top-border of the frame. Has anybody had that?

As for The Deep - at this point, I am sure a good editor (or a bit of dynamite/CGI) could help out with the explosion. I wouldn't be against ADR by other actors, if done tastefully and "with a tinge of original sound". I too want to see The Deep, no matter if good or not, that's left for history to decide and his catalogue to see completion.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#295 Post by Thornycroft » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:31 pm

nolanoe wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:10 pm
but what I saw was an occasional box of frame-counts in the lower left corner and something similar in the top-border of the frame. Has anybody had that?
Nick Wrigley documented this on his twitter feed. It appears Nexflix initially streamed an ungraded timecoded file by accident.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#296 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:25 am

Thornycroft wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:31 pm
nolanoe wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:10 pm
but what I saw was an occasional box of frame-counts in the lower left corner and something similar in the top-border of the frame. Has anybody had that?
Nick Wrigley documented this on his twitter feed. It appears Nexflix initially streamed an ungraded timecoded file by accident.
Ah-ha, that would also explain why so many viewers were complaining about the sound mix (all dialog isolated on the left channel while music/sound effects were isolated on the right). Could it also be the reason for the weird chroma banding "david hare" mentioned upthread? By the time I viewed the Netflix stream (Nov. 2nd, 7:30 p.m. EST), the correct file was in place.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#297 Post by MongooseCmr » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:43 am

Oh, I thought the audio panning was intentional. I really liked it.

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#298 Post by dda1996a » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:02 am

Just saw the documentary before I watch the actual film, and found it rather great. It's the usual histographic documentary but just hearing Welles speak, seeing parts from all his films and the insanity behind Wind is good enough for me.
Wondering if any of the two will get any Oscar noms (not that I care, but it'd great to see Wind get belated nominations)

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Re: The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

#299 Post by Mothravka » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:47 am

I'm not quite enthusiastic as some others here, it was at most an okay film for me, even if I had high expectations.

Some of the satire is pretty funny and striking together with the metafilm execution, but I think the whole product gets buried in it's own messy and hectic outcome. It works for a while, but not really for two hours. A lot of this is of course understandable if one looks at the absurdly problematic production history. It would be interesting to see the exact version of how Orson Welles wanted it, but I guess this is close enough.

What I liked best was the film within the film, that Blue Cheer song makes it even more effective and better. Those parts echo a little bit of 60s/70s psychedelia, surrealism, experimental and exploitation cinema. It's almost something you would see in a Jesús Franco or Alain Robbe-Grillet picture.

Too bad they tried to pass Oja Kodar as a Native American and painting her skin. All in all, it's far from being one of Welles' major works in my opinion. Nonetheless, it's still an important piece of curiosity that is worth to see for its relevant history and reference. I'll also try to check out that new documentary about it when the time is right.

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