Shortly after the low-budget film Easy Rider shook up Hollywood, venerated director Orson Welles exploited the outlaw biker image with his film The Other Side of the Wind.
It was never finished, but the avant-garde movie about Hollywood has now been completed and will screen on Netflix in November.
The film is one of the first of the “mockumentary” genre poking some fun at 1970s Hollywood and featuring a stellar cast of actors and directors, including Easy Rider director and star Dennis Hopper.
But the real star for us is the shadowy figure of the early 1970s Triumph Bonneville being ridden by Jim Morrison lookalike Bob Random as Oscar “John Dale.
Interestingly, it was the fact that the lead actor walked out during filming that left the picture unfinished for several decades.
In 2016, Netflix bought the rights to the unfinished film shot between 1970–1976.
It will be shown on Netflix and at selective cinemas in November.
Orson Welles speaks
So, what’s it all about?
Here are some quotes from Orson Welles (1915-1985) at a 1966 banquet to raise funding for the project:
“Our story is about a pseudo-Hemingway, a movie director. So the central figure… You can barely see through the hair on his chest; who was frightened by Hemingway at birth. He’s a tough movie director who has killed three or four extras on every picture…[but is] full of charm. Everybody thinks he’s great. In our story he’s riding around following a bullfighter, and living through him…but he’s become obsessed by this young man who has become…his own dream of himself. He’s been rejected by all his old friends. He’s finally been shown up to be a kind of voyeur…a fellow who lives off other people’s danger and death.”