n°169/ Centenary

May 2015

by Nathalie Azoulai

On May 6, Orson Welles would have been 100. Celebrations are going to be massive and worldwide, from next Cannes Film Festival to the hypothetical Los Angeles release of the director's last movie so-called The Other Side of the Wind whose shooting took years and remained unfinished. And guess what? It tells the story of an old American director unable to finish his last movie, who is giving a Hollywood birthday party.  When Welles died in 1985, only 40 minutes of the feature had been edited so that Welles's protegee, Peter Bogdanovich, was asked to finish the work and just couldn't make it because of all the disagreements around regarding the rights and the money.The movie stars John Huston. To his old pal asking what was the movie really about, Welles replied: “It’s a film about a bastard director…. It’s about us, John. It’s a film about us.”  To another actor who would ask the same question, Welles just responded: "I haven't the foggiest." What if fog was a trick to seal guilty secrets the other side of the wind might reveal?

 Orson Welles