The Other Side of the Wind is currently streaming on Netflix, but I’m happy to say that I was able to experience it on the big screen, thanks to IFC Center. I went into this long unfinished and unreleased Orson Welles epic more or less cold, and was thoroughly delighted by what I discovered: a semi-autobiographical, heavily metafictional mockumentary that brilliantly satirizes the Hollywood studio system. Featuring such esteemed directors as John Huston (The Maltese Falcon) and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) in starring roles and spotlighting the conflict between multiple generations of filmmakers as they struggle to navigate a rapidly-evolving industry, it was clearly made to appeal to the more fanatic cinephiles in the audience. It certainly took me back to my college days, when I was buying foreign DVD copies of Welles’ Shakespeare adaptations (Chimes at Midnight, Othello, etc.) in order to satisfy my addiction to obscure movies.
[Originally written November 4, 2018.]