Film | by Shane “All’s Welles That Ends Welles” Hnetka
Netflix recently abandoned its five-star user ratings for a simpler thumbs-up or thumbs-down deal. The old system apparently wasn’t helping subscribers find movies they wanted to see, so I guess Netflix figures dumbing-things down to a simple “did you like it?” or “did you not like it?” will help viewers find stuff they like. Not sure I like it, it’s little too black and white for me.
Orson Welles’ last film, The Other Side of the Wind — which the late, great director never completed — will finally be finished. Shot from 1970 to 1976, The Other Side of the Wind is about an aging filmmaker’s comeback picture. It’s set at director Jake Hannaford’s (John Huston) birthday party. Hannaford’s weird and surreal comeback movie (also called The Other Side Of The Wind) is a film-within-the-film.
Welles never did a final cut, and he died leaving the rights to multiple people. Not surprisingly, previous attempts to release the film were derailed by massive fights over ownership. A couple of years ago a group of filmmakers tried to restore and release The Other Side of the Wind, raising money through an Indiegogo campaign, but nothing seemed to come of it.
But now, Netflix has secured the worldwide rights, as well as the negatives. Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Rosenbaum and others will complete the film using Welles’ extensive notes.
The end result might not be a masterpiece, let alone exactly what Welles intended, but it will be very cool to finally see it.
THE DEVILS APPEARS
The horror streaming service Shudder just added the controversial 1971 horror classic The Devils. Made in 1971, this Ken Russell movie caused quite a stir in its day. The Devils is set in 17th century France and follows a jealous nun (Vanessa Redgrave) and power-hungry baron who frame a priest for witchcraft. It’s famous for scenes of sadistic torture as well as disturbing sex scenes, such as a nun masturbating with a human femur and a scene of sex with a Christ statue. Well, it is Ken Russell.
Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.