Hnetflix

Film | by “Citizen Shane” Hnetka

Well, Netflix pulled out of Cannes. It was to be expected with the festival pretty much banning them. Netflix just posted big first quarter earnings, so they probably don’t care. For now.

Where No Wind Blows

Back in the 1970s Orson Welles was trying to make his comeback movie, The Other Side of the Wind, about an aging filmmaker staging his own comeback. There’s a film-within-a-film in the movie, also called The Other Side of the Wind. It sounds awesome. Unfortunately, the film had a troubled production. Welles shot it over several years, from 1970 to 1976. One of his investors embezzled money while another investor, Mehdi Bushehri, was a brother-in-law of the Shah of Iran who got arrested when the Shah was overthrown. A decades-long battle over the who owned the movie ensued and in the meantime Welles passed away, leaving the rights to his unfinished films to his then-girlfriend.

Welles shot over 10 hours of raw footage and filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, who worked on The Other Side of the Wind, has been trying to finish it. There was a deal with Showtime in the early 2000s that fell through and then, more recently, there was an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money to finish the editing. That didn’t quite reach its goal but then Netflix stepped in and paid to finish the movie and release it. Problem solved!

Oh wait, of course it isn’t.

Here’s the problem: Netflix was going to release the film at, guess where, Cannes, but has backed out completely. Even Welles’ daughter’s public pleas haven’t changed the company’s mind.

I’m not sure what happens next with the The Other Side of the Wind. Contributors paid a lot of money for a theatrical premier — some as much as a $1,000. There are almost 3,000 funders. It’s a mess.

If I paid $50 for a bluray, I really don’t think a subscription to Netflix is going to cover it when they just dump the film on their service. Besides, Orson Welles’ last movie deserves a theatrical release.

Forever Avenging

Marvel is finally releasing their biggest movie with all the heroes fighting Thanos, the ultimate bad guy they first teased back in 2012. Personally I enjoy the Marvel movies and have pretty high hopes for Avengers: Infinity War. The weird thing is, I know people who seem excited at the prospect of heroes dying in the movie. Who roots for their heroes to die? Why does everyone crave death? How does that make a better story? Captain America isn’t going to die just because Chris Evan’s contract is up. I bet he gets his real shield back and kicks ass. These are heroes folks. They’ll NEVER die. They’re going to save the day forever!

At least, I hope so.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.