The reaction I’ve seen so far to what’s undoubtedly the story of the day has run along the lines of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But according to Doreen Carvajal, reporting for the New York Times, Orson Welles‘s legendary uncompleted final film, The Other Side of the Wind, will finally see the light of a projector.
Carvajal: “Endless legal battles among the rights holders, including Welles’s daughter, kept the 1,083 reels of negatives inside a warehouse in a gritty suburb of Paris despite numerous efforts to complete the film—a movie within a movie about the comeback attempt of an aging, maverick director played by John Huston.” Now Royal Road Entertainment has announced that it’s “reached an agreement with the sometimes-warring parties to buy the rights. The producers say they aim to have it ready for a screening in time for May 6, the 100th anniversary of Welles’s birth, and to promote its distribution at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif., next month.”
These “sometimes-warring parties” are quite a varied lot—”Welles’s longtime companion and collaborator, Oja Kodar; his daughter and sole heir, Beatrice Welles; and an Iranian-French production company, L’Astrophore”—so if they truly have come to an agreement that sticks, what a feat to have pulled off.
One more clip from Carvajal: “During the last 15 years of his life, Welles, who died in 1985, worked obsessively on the film, which chronicles a temperamental film director—much like him—who is battling with the Hollywood establishment to finish an iconoclastic work. The supporting cast included Susan Strasberg, Lilli Palmer, Dennis Hopper and Peter Bogdanovich, who basically played himself, a young up-and-coming director.”
For more—a lot more—on The Other Side of the Wind, see Wellesnet, where Ray Kelly notes that the “definitive look at the decades-long delay in bringing The Other Side of the Wind to the screen and the recent negotiations to complete it are laid out in Josh Karp’s upcoming book,” Orson Welles’s Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind.
IN OTHER NEWS
Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, Michael Haneke, Tom Tykwer, Nina Hoss and Christoph Waltz are among the more than 60 filmmakers and actors who have signed an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel protesting proposed cuts to the German Federal Film Fund.
The Complete Jacques Tati must be one helluva package. The artwork alone: the other day, Adrian Curry made an exception for David Merveille’s outstanding designs in his essential “Movie Poster of the Week” column at the Notebook.
“PlayTime: Anatomy of a Gag” by David Cairns
And Criterion’s been publishing essays that accompany the silver discs. Yesterday, it was James Quandt. Today, it’s Jonathan Rosenbaum: “Tati had a sense of design in terms of both sound and image that expressed itself in painterly ‘touches’—strategic dabs that informed and inflected his overall compositions.”
Reverse Shot‘s Scorsese symposium has arrived at the most recent feature. Jeff Reichert: “For a filmmaker who has often challenged us to see how far we can strain our empathy and identification (think of Rupert Pupkin, Travis Bickle, and Jake La Motta), the push-pull bargain of repulsion and seduction Scorsese strikes while telling The Wolf of Wall Street is practically Faustian.”
More on Scorsese from Andrew Lewis Conn, writing for the Believer: “I’ve been obsessing over Life Lessons for years and must have seen it something like fifteen or twenty times now. I think it’s a masterpiece—one of the four or five greatest things Scorsese has ever done—and propose here for its twenty-fifth anniversary a thought for each of the picture’s glorious 44 minutes.”
“One of her movie vehicles was called Born to Dance (1936), and if ever anyone was, surely it was Eleanor Powell, the queen of tap.” Dan Callahan at the Chiseler.
In Approaching the End: Imagining Apocalypse in American Film, Peter Labuza “gives an important first look at something we should look into: our appetite for destruction, but a destruction that won’t touch us.” Jaime Grijalba Gomez at Twitch.
Bernard Rose’s 1992 Candyman “came out right alongside Francis Ford Coppola’s super-deluxe Dracula, and its Guignol is grander,” argues Adam Nayman at Reverse Shot.
At the AV Club, Kyle Fowle presents a “beginner’s guide to Hammer Films.”
“Horror sequels are the exact opposite of horror,” argues Tasha Robinson at the Dissolve.
At MetaFilter, Monsieur Caution‘s posted a guide to lists and recent writing on, as one of those lists has it, “feminist-minded” horror.
Here’s one on us, “10 Indie Horror Films You May Not Have Seen.”
And John Coulthart‘s rounded up some viewing for us: “Christopher Frayling, like Marina Warner, is that rare thing: a British academic with an enthusiasm for popular culture, and a talent for communicating that enthusiasm to a general audience…. Nightmare: The Birth of Horror was both a book and a television series produced by the BBC in 1996.”
New York. “Fire figures prominently in the passionate, furious films of Derek Jarman,” writes Melissa Anderson in the Voice: “the conflagrations that consume London streets in Jubilee (1978), the flares and torches held aloft in The Angelic Conversation (1985), the infernos that roar in The Last of England (1987), the flame-colored tresses of Tilda Swinton, who made her screen debut in Caravaggio (1986) and remained an indispensable collaborator until the director’s death, at age 52, in 1994. BAMcinématek’s complete Jarman retrospective—featuring all 11 of his features, several short- and medium-length works (many shot on Super 8), and music videos—provides a welcome, too-rare opportunity to marvel at the director’s burning talent and inextinguishable energy.” Queer Pagan Punk: The Films of Derek Jarman opens tomorrow and runs through November 11.
MoMA’s series Filmmaker in Focus: Nuri Bilge Ceylan opens today and runs through November 5.
The Real Indies: A Close Look at Orphan Films is parceled out into four sessions taking place on Friday and Saturday.
And the L has a slew of further recommendations.
Toronto. Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition opens Friday at TIFF and will be on view through January 25.
IN THE WORKS
Dominik Graf and screenwriter Günter Schütter, frequent collaborators, are working on a science fiction thriller based on the legend of the Golem, reports Blickpunkt:Film.
Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva reports that Grady Hendrix’s new novel, Horrorstör, is to be adapted for a television series. “Designed in the format of a furniture catalog (parallels with Ikea are inevitable), Horrorstör is described as a classic old-fashioned haunted house story set in Orsk, a Swedish-style big-box furniture superstore.”
“Hailee Steinfeld will star in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Dustin Lance Black’s adaptation of the popular YA novel written by Jennifer E. Smith.” Borys Kit has more in the Hollywood Reporter.
Listening (35’20”). From Karina Longworth, You Must Remember This #20: Liz [Loves] Monty.
More listening (119’01”). Herschell Gordon Lewis and Harry Lennix are guests in the Projection Booth, discussing HGL’s Year of the Yahoo (1972), Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd (1957) and Tim Robbins’s Bob Roberts (1992). But wait, there’s more: a “Special Report” (114’01”) on The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).